x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

England edge out Canada in World Cup warm-up

Promoted up the order, Pietersen blames the slowness of the pitch for the laboured victory over the minnows.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen blamed the slow pitch for his side's laboured victory over Canada in their first World Cup warm-up game on Wednesday.

England's players, who were recently handed a 6-1 mauling by Australia in a one-day series there, came within 17 runs of a highly embarrassing defeat by the in Dhaka after batting first.

"Look, we have just come from Perth in western Australia, one of the fastest wickets in the world, to probably one of the slowest in an international fixture," Pietersen said.

"It's totally different conditions. Everyone needs time to adjust. Hopefully we can play on wickets that are quicker than this."

Australia have also struggled in their warm-ups, losing first to India and then to South Africa.

Pietersen, newly promoted as an opener, said the players were not worried when Canada's tailenders were steadily closing in on England's tally of 243 with plenty of overs left to play.

The loud and animated appeals from many in the side for two lbws late in the game suggested otherwise, however. Canada were eventually bowled out for 227.

South African-born Pietersen, one of the best limited-overs players in the world on his day, said he was looking forward to opening the batting alongside captain Andrew Strauss. He previously came in at No. 4, where he has sometimes struggled to convert reasonable starts into big scores. His average was just over 30 in his six one-day games in Australia.

"It was put to me (by the team management). Once we spoke for real about it, I got a nice little feeling about it," he said. "The team are right behind the decision."

England bowlers Stuart Broad and Ajmal Shahzad both returned from injury to face Canada and both used the new ball well. Broad finished up with a matchwinning 5 for 37, while Shahzad picked up 2 for 44.

Matt Prior and Jonathan Trott scored fifties, but the other batsman failed to shine, while Broad managed 22.

"Broad coming back, Shahzad coming back, there was some really good stuff from our boys today," Pietersen said.

 

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