Plunkett and Briggs limit WA
The England Performance Programme hit back on day two of their tour match against a Western Australia XI after a fine bowling performance spearheaded by Liam Plunkett and Danny Briggs restricted the hosts to 388 all out on a good batting wicket at Lark Hill, near Perth.
Resuming on 304 for four, WA lost their remaining wickets for 84 in a turgid innings which was brought to a close shortly after lunch.
In reply, the tourists were 206 for three at stumps with opener James Taylor unbeaten on 87 aftter Ben Stokes had struck a powerful 70.
Plunkett worked willingly throughout the WA innings with spells into the wind and without use of the new ball.
As in the one-day contest, Briggs found the correct length and pace to trouble WA and again the young Hampshire spinner finished with four wickets.
Varying the batting order to fulfil some of the development aims and player exposure to wickets and circumstances, the EPP opened with Taylor alongside Craig Kieswetter.
Taylor batted intelligently through the innings - providing the perfect foil for the power games of Kieswetter and Stokes, who was also promoted to provide experience of the conditions.
While Kieswetter and Jonny Bairstow fell cheaply to expansive shots, Taylor continued untroubled, finding gaps and stealing singles.
As the EPP attempted to accelerate, Stokes’ innings of entertaining stroke-play enlivened proceedings.
Stokes' knock came from 70 balls and included 10 fours. He survived a rash shot which was dropped in swirling wind, but next ball a suicidal run-attempt brought an impetuous end to an otherwise powerful but considered innings.
The experienced Andrew Gale, who finished the day 31 not out, supported Taylor through to the close.