Cricket

Cook & Carberry dominate for England

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England stepped up their Ashes preparations in style overnight as openers Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry scored big centuries to leave the tourists 318-0 at the close of play against Australia A.

The Hampshire batsman has now put himself in pole position for a spot in the batting line-up when the opening Test of the series starts on November 21st after smashing 153 not out in Hobart.

Captain Cook won the toss and elected to bat before he revealed his team to face the second string Australia outfit with Joe Root dropping down the order to allow Carberry another chance to impress at the top of the order, a decision that paid off.

Cook and Carberry got off to a watchful start with the ball moving through the air and off the pitch as they reached 33 without loss in the first hour as they picked up the pace throughout the day.

Jonathan Trott was the unlucky man waiting to bat at number three as he waited patiently all day without entering the crease due to the dominance of the opening pair.

Cook sped past 50 before lunch and was the enforcer in the first half of the day and at one stage he was 20 runs short of a century while his partner was only on 44 but that changed after he moved past his half century.

Carberry caught his captain up through the nineties but it was Cook who reached three figures first just after tea before the 33-year-old followed with an emotional celebration to mark his first century in England colours.

Carberry continued to play with freedom as he ended the day unbeaten on 153 while Cook finished on 154 not out on his first innings of the tour.

England will want to give the rest of the batters some time in the middle with the returning Kevin Pietersen set to follow Trott in his customary number four position before Root, Gary Ballance and Matt Prior complete the top seven who are in need of match practice.

When England decide to declare it will give the returning Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann a chance to dust off the cobwebs while Chris Tremlett was the preferred option in this penultimate warm up fixture ahead of Boyd Rankin and Steven Finn.

Topics:
The Ashes
England cricket
Australia cricket
Cricket

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