Magellan Ashes 2017-18
Marathon stand denies England win
Ashes tourists hopes of an early day four win scuttled by stubborn young CA XI batting unit
18 November 2017, 12:00 PM AEST
England have experienced their fair share of demoralising days fielding in the Queensland sun, but Saturday's miserable return of 1-220 against a Cricket Australia XI was a different kind of concern.
Just five days out from Thursday's first Magellan Ashes Test, grade cricketers Jason Sangha (133) and Matt Short (134) batted four-and-a-half hours for a 263-run stand as the hosts marched towards 4-364 and a draw on a lifeless Townsville pitch.
After they began the day with a lead of 144 and seven wickets to take, England planned on steamrolling the youngsters. But in the end their only saving grace was an hour early finish with no hope of a result.
In effect, England had lost hope of breaking through the inexperienced Cricket Australia XI and beating them despite having Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes at their disposal.
Potentially the only man missing from the team that will take on Steve Smith, David Warner and co at the Gabba next week was James Anderson.
Making Sangha and Short's counter-attack even more concerning for England is the fact neither have played Sheffield Shield before and had just five first-class matches and a total of 195 runs between them before this week.
But they were full of class on Saturday.
At 18, Sangha's 133 made him the second youngest player to post a first-class century against England. The man who beat him: Sachin Tendulkar.
A highly-heralded future star in NSW, Sangha's century also made him the youngest player to pass 100 in a first-class match in Australia since Ricky Ponting against NSW in 1992-93.
Meanwhile, Short was two weeks ago playing grade cricket for Northcote in Melbourne but also looked at home against England after scoring a first-innings 51.
The pair were gave just one real chance on Saturday - which was dropped - before Sangha was caught at backward square by Dawid Malan sweeping legspinner Mason Crane.
Meanwhile with quick Jake Ball looking set to return from an ankle injury, medium-pacer Craig Overton did his chances of a Test debut no help.
He went for an unhappy 0-65 from 15 overs, as Ball appeared to get through a stint in the field and a spell in the nets unscathed to put himself back in the mix for selection.
Cricket Network will live stream England's tour match in Townsville on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app
Click above to learn more about Townsville or watch the great video below!
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
Gillette T20 INTL Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21