Plenty of positives as England win first warm-up Test in Perth
Andrew Strauss stole the show in Perth with a superb 120 off 141 balls that led England to victory against Western Australia.
The England captain, along with coach Andy Flower, will be hugely buoyed by the positives that came from the three-day warm-up Test with Western Australia as England search for their first series victory in Australian since the 1986/87 tour.
Strauss’ century wasn’t the only highlight from the England batsman as Kevin Pietersen silenced his critics with a first innings 58 as the rest of the top order collapsed around him leaving Pietersen at 4/1, and Strauss at 7/2 to be England’s leading series runscorer.
It took two incredible first innings performances from Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann to keep England in the match, Broad hit an unbeaten 53 off 48 balls while Swann also managed to stay unbeaten with 37 off 25.
But in the second innings England managed to knock off the target of 243 for just the loss of four wickets, although Alistair Cook’s knocks of five and nine will be a worry to the England selectors.
Ian Bell looked sharp on his return to the Test team and it seems that England will favour Bell over Eoin Morgan for the first Test which England are 2/1 to win.
Broad and Swann did not only stand-out with the bat, but also with the ball in hand as Swann finished with overall figures of 5-161, while Broad managed 5-73.
Swann continues to be the overwhelming 1/1 favourite to be England’s leading wicket-taker, but Broad’s performance with the new ball throws him into the equation.
The 4/1 offered for Broad to be England’s leading series wicket-taker looks the best value in the Ashes betting market as he gets to grips with the Australian bowling conditions on his first tour down under.
England are 2/1 to win the Ashes series. See the full Ashes betting odds here.