Five wickets from Graeme Swann helped England to an emphatic 228-run win against Essex in a warm-up match at Chelmsford on Wednesday.
<b>Five wickets from Graeme Swann helped England to an emphatic 228-run win against Essex in a warm-up match at Chelmsford on Wednesday.</b>
Swann, despite sustaining a slight injury during the England innings, made an immediate impact when Essex came out to bat for a second time. The English spinner took the first three wickets of the home team's innings.
First to fall was Hamish Rutherford, who contributed 48 runs to the opening stand of 91. New batsman at the crease Owais Shah did not score before he was caught by Jonathon Trott off the bowling of Swann.
Opening batsman Jaik Mickleburgh and Ravi Bopara then put on 29 runs together, before the former was also dismissed by the England spinner. Mickleburgh spent 129 minutes out in the middle for his 58 runs. However, he was eventually caught by Cook.
Bopara was then joined at the crease by Mark Pettini and together they looked to stage a recovery of sorts. While there had been no doubt that England would win this farcical encounter, the Essex duo looked to have some fight left in them yet.
However, Graham Onions, who finished the match with figures of 4-43, was having none of it and dismissed Bopara for a brave 33. This wicket sparked a mass capitulation from the Essex middle to lower order and none of the next four partnerships made it to double figures.
There was one defiant stand towards the end of the innings from David Masters and Greg Smith, who put on 21 runs for the ninth wicket. However, that too came to an end when Masters was caught by Tim Bresnan off the bowling of Swann.
England eventually sealed the victory with 23 overs to spare and will now prepare for the first Test at Trent Bridge on 10 July.
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