Prior pleased with personnel after draw

England

Stand-in skipper Matt Prior emerged satisfied, after England's three-day tour fixture against the Western Australian Chairman's XI ended in a draw in Perth on Saturday.

Stand-in skipper Matt Prior emerged satisfied, after England's three-day tour fixture against the Western Australian Chairman's XI ended in a draw in Perth on Saturday.

The visiting attack struggled initially, allowing the hosts a formidable total of 451 for five declared, before centuries from batsman Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell and complementary vigils from openers Michael Carberry and Joe Root ensured 391 all out.

The home side later replied with 169 for five, with fast bowlers Boyd Rankin and Steven Finn snaring two wickets apiece for the fixture was declared a stalemate.

"We know how important first-innings runs are going to be, and that starts with the two men at the top," said Prior, who captained the side in the absence of the rested Alastair Cook. "The way Carberry played was fantastic, and Root as well. Bell and Trott took over from there, so very happy with the batting overall.

"The bowling went from strength to strength which was a great sign. Steven Finn bowled a long spell there, and certainly in the last four or five overs he really was hitting his straps again – and his pace was up. I thought Boyd Rankin was fantastic all day. A bloke with such height, and good pace and bounce, on these wickets could be a pretty useful weapon over here.

"Chris Tremlett again just got better and better, more rhythm as the game went on and certainly as today went on. I think we got a huge amount from it. In all departments, we gradually got better throughout the game, certainly in the field, and from a fielding and bowling point of view."

The uncapped Gary Ballance, who is vying with the right-handed Jonny Bairstow for the number six berth in the team for the first Test against Australia in Brisbane, fell for a duck.

"You can't just judge a guy on walking to the wicket, taking guard, 'nicking off' and walking back again," added Prior. "He seems another one of those unflappable characters. He sort of had a bit of a wry grin on his face.

I think that's the best thing you can do. You have to just laugh it off, and go 'oh well', dust yourself down and get back on the horse. There's no point taking it too seriously, taking yourself too seriously and getting too down and beating yourself up."

England's next fixture will be against Australia A, which will start in Hobart on Wednesday.

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