England game reduced to batting practice

England

England's warm-up match against Essex was reduced to a meaningless practice game at Chelmsford on Tuesday after the home side brought two new bowlers into the attack to bolster the resistance.

England's warm-up match against Essex was reduced to a meaningless practice game at Chelmsford on Tuesday after the home side brought two new bowlers into the attack to bolster the resistance.

Essex opening bowlers Tymal Mills and David Masters had to go off injured, so England batsmen Jonathan Trott and Alastair Cook were able to bat with ease. This frustrated the England management so they proposed a solution.

Essex allowed Reece Topley and opposition paceman Boyd Rankin to play, meaning the game lost its first class status, rendering Tim Bresnan's century and Tom Craddock's five-fer meaningless.

But, given the point of the game was to provide England with practise, the changes were accepted and Cook went on to make 82 before retiring, while Trott made 79 before also heading back indoors to give others a chance.

At stumps, when rain arrived to further add to the hilarity, England were on 217 for 'three' and held a lead of 352 runs, though with one day to go that was not important at all. Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow were in the middle at the close.

Aside from the Essex players getting injured, England also had a few scares. Graeme Swann, who was hit by Mills on the right forearm on Monday, seemed fine to continued and bowled in the morning, while Ian Bell was struck on the knee but recovered.

Amusingly, there were three rather young subs on the field by the end of the day, with the youngest, Aaron Beard, just 15 years old. Great memory for him, fielding against England.

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