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Ashes 2017-18: England's James Anderson takes four wickets against Western Australia XI

Ashes 2017-18: England's James Anderson takes four wickets against Western Australia XI

Mason Crane (left) played for Sheffield Shield side New South Wales earlier this year
bbc.comJames Anderson took four wickets on day two of England's first Ashes tour match against a Western Australia XI.Anderson claimed 4-27 but it took new ball partner Stuart Broad (1-64) longer to find his rhythm as he conceded 32 runs from his first five overs.Fellow seamer Jake Ball's height and pace helped him return a tidy 1-31.
Leg-spinner Mason Crane (2-75) and pace bowler Craig Overton (2-70), who are vying for Test debuts in Australia, performed well on a flat Waca pitch.Western Australia were bowled out for 338 but kept batting for the final few overs to give England additional practice time with the ball.The first of the five-Test Ashes series begins in Brisbane on 23 November.
Stoneman and Vince shine in warm-up
The Ashes: England in Australia 2017-18
England's bowlers struggled to make an early breakthrough against a relatively weak Western Australia line-up with an average age of 22.The tourists weren't helped by initial sloppiness in the field as Jonny Bairstow put down a chance from opener Jake Carder while captain Joe Root dropped a straightforward slip catch. Opening batsmen Carder (22) and Josh Philippe (88) put on 80 runs for the first wicket before Overton had the former caught in the deep.Philippe continued to take the game to England's bowlers, striking 16 boundaries in his 92-ball innings before he was stumped as he advanced to Crane.Chris Woakes, who played just one Test for England during the summer as he struggled with injury, failed to take a wicket from his 15 overs.Both Overton and Ball demonstrated their pace but Ball was more consistent, cramping the batsmen for room and keeping the run rate down.Steven Finn, the other fast bowling contender to play in Brisbane, missed the game with a knee injury.Four England batsmen - Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Gary Ballance and Dawid Malan - hit half-centuries on the first day as England reached 349-6, although Alastair Cook (0) and Joe Root (9) fell cheaply.England begin their second warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide on 8 November.
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James Anderson, England's leading wicket taker, averages 38.44 with the ball in Australia
'There's still fatigue there'
England bowler James Anderson told BBC Sport: "Personally, I was a bit rusty to start with and I got a bit of a shock - it was a very flat wicket - but as the day went on, myself and the bowling group adjusted to the conditions."There's still a bit of fatigue in there and getting the body going again, so it's really useful to get out there in the middle, and we got better as the day went on."I thought Stuart [Broad] did have a tough day but he came back with the second new ball and bowled really well. He's getting there and had more confidence at the end of the day."Mason Crane is a really good character to have around the group. He's pretty confident when it comes to his bowling. I think he's got the right mentality for a leg spinner. He gives it a rip and for leg spinners to have the confidence to do that, it's something we haven't had before."
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England a 'completely different side' from 2013-14 Ashes whitewash - Joe Root
Analysis
Charles Dagnall, Test Match Special commentatorThis isn't Western Australia's first team - it's hardly their second. It is a collection of really good grade players from around the area.The exercise for bowlers in warm-up matches is to find rhythm and get overs under their belt. That, the England bowlers did, but success didn't arrive until the afternoon.It was a useful run-out, especially after a couple of days of nets, but they didn't really wake up until the second session of the day. Ball was the most threatening and hostile of the England bowlers, and Anderson found his groove after lunch, but Broad and Woakes found the day tough going.
How are Australia faring?
Australia's Test players have been playing for their domestic state sides, with fast bowler Josh Hazlewood starring for New South Wales.Hazlewood, retuning from a side strain, reduced Western Australia to 8-3 with his new ball spell and ended the day with 3-13.His international team-mates Pat Cummins (1-17) and Mitchell Starc (0-34) also featured, while Test captain Steve Smith made 73 with the bat.There is still uncertainty for Australia over who takes the gloves for the first Test, with current wicketkeeper Matthew Wade falling for 9 and 17 for Tasmania against Queensland.
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