Swann and Panesar shine in stalemate
Spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar impressed as the two-day game between a Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI and England at Traeger Park in Alice Springs was drawn.
Swann took 4-56 from 23 overs and Panesar 3-41 from 19 while the hosts made 254 for eight on another stifling day for a first-innings lead of 42.
That left the tourists with around an hour to bat, during which they reached 47 for the loss of Joe Root - Michael Carberry ending on 37 not out.
Swann’s wickets bode well for next week’s second Ashes Test at Adelaide where spin could play a significant part on an expected slow pitch. Panesar’s scalps aid his claim to be a second specialist slow bowler there.
England’s seamers in this match found life harder, including during the first hour or so today when Steven Cazzulino and Marcus Harris advanced their opening stand from 16 overnight to 78.
Both fell agonisingly short of fifties before Swann and Panesar undermined a middle order intent on attacking.
Harris crunched Steven Finn for three fours in one over - a pull, cover-drive and upper-cut - and then got stuck into Ben Stokes when he dropped short.
However Harris, who hit a half-century for Western Australia against England in the first match of their tour at Perth last month, went for 49 when he got greedy in Swann's opening over and mistimed a gentle skier to Finn, running round behind the bowler from mid-off.
Finn was again the catcher, with some juggling thrown in this time, when number three Michael Hill got underneath an attempted big hit that skewed high to mid-off.
Swann struck once more before lunch as Alex Keath tried to clear the in-field too but merely chipped a thick inside edge to midwicket.
Panesar had to wait until the 38th over to bowl yet, once he got his chance, shone in tandem with Swann for 70 minutes either side of lunch.
He lured Cazzulino up the wicket, where the left-hander missed some turn and was bowled through the gate for 48, and then also drew Luke Robins out of his ground to be routinely stumped.
In between, Swann added a fourth wicket in his 17-over spell from the Speed Street End when teenager Jake Doran was caught at bat and pad.
The off-spinner also had Josh Lalor dropped on nought at slip by Joe Root, back on the field after suffering from an upset stomach yesterday.
When England turned back to pace, Ashton Turner and Lalor began to play with more comfort in a seventh-wicket stand of 64.
Lalor took the partnership past 50 by hoisting Swann for six over long-on - and even after he was caught at deep mid-on off Panesar for 45, James Muirhead and Turner bagged another 48 runs together.
It was only once Boyd Rankin broke through, Muirhead fencing a catch behind on 29, that Michael Beer ordered the declaration, leaving Turner unbeaten with 39.
England's second shot at match practice with the bat lasted only 16 overs, during which Root was caught behind as Simon Mackin found life in the pitch.
First innings half-centurion Gary Ballance joined Carberry in the middle and was unbeaten on eight from 39 deliveries at stumps.
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