x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Cricket: Sessions updates from ICC Combined XI v England in Dubai

England were 16 without loss at stumps in reply to the composite side's 281 at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai.

Stuart Broad celebrates dismissing Kyle Coetzer in the tour match in Dubai.
Stuart Broad celebrates dismissing Kyle Coetzer in the tour match in Dubai.

DUBAI // Three months' rest from cricket and a new diet have obviously treated Stuart Broad well, after he impressed on the first morning of England's tour of the UAE.

The fast bowler made the most of early morning assistance from the Global Cricket Academy pitch in Dubai, as he took three quick wickets with the new ball.

Broad, who has not played since September and has lost 1.5kg in weight since then, fired out the Combined XI's top order, starting with the captain, William Porterfield.

The experimental International Cricket Council side, which is an XI made up of the best players from beyond the Test arena, withered in the face on an efficient first-session display by the world's best Test side.

They had reached 91 for six by lunch, with only Craig Williams, the Namibian all-rounder, providing significant resistance as he made 34.

However, the Associates side battled back pluckily after the lunch break, led by the typically free-spirited Mohammed Shahzad.

The Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman, whose first-class top score of 215 not out came down the road in Sharjah, got off the mark with an audacious chip over the slips off a Steve Finn bouncer.

It was the first of seven fours in his eye-catching 58-ball innings of 51, which ended when he slapped a delivery from Jimmy Anderson to mid-on.

His was just one of two wickets to fall in the afternoon session, as the Combined XI took tea at 182 for eight with Christi Viljoen, unbeaten on 45.

Vijoen was the star of the day for the composite side, however, as he chose a fine time to make his highest first-class score.

Viljoen agonisingly finished two runs short of a maiden first-class century, as he became Broad’s fourth victim, but his innings still helped the ICC side rally to a competitive total of 281.

Boyd Rankin, the Irish fast-bowler who aspires to represent England, also played a fine hand with the bat, as he made 43.

England’s openers were unmoved in the four overs they faced before the close, with Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook taking them to 16.