Australia Invitational XI vs. England Cricket 2013: Day 2 Scorecard and Recap

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14:  Steven Finn of England celebrates after taking the wicket of Peter Nevill of CA Invitational XI during day two of the tour match between the CA Invitational XI and England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on November 14, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)
Mark Nolan/Getty Images

England trail an Australia Invitational XI by two runs with five wickets remaining at the close of play on the second day in Sydney.

The Three Lions, who suffered a difficult first day, reached stumps on 302-5 as the batsmen found their groove. England smashed through the Australian lower order to set themselves a first innings target of 304, a number they are likely to pass within the first over of the third day.

Australia Invitational XI Batting Figures
Aaron Finchc Bairstow b Broad4
Ed Cowanc Trott b Finn51
Callum Fergusonlbw b Broad8
Kurtis Pattersonc Cook b Finn5
Ben Rohrerc Carberry b Broad19
Ryan Cartersc Bairstow b Broad94
Peter Nevillc Bairstow b Finn83
Joshua Laylorc Swann b Finn0
Christopher Tremainc Carberry b Rankin1
James Muirheadnot out14
Nicholas Billsc Carberry b Finn6
England Bowling Figures
Stuard Broad24.010371.544
Boyd Rankin23.05632.741
Steven Finn28.441033.635
Graeme Swann22.05663.000
Jonathan Trott5.01224.400
Joe Root1.0011.000

Steven Finn had been expensive for his two wickets during the opening day as he missed a chance to state his claim for a spot in the first Ashes Test. However, things changed quickly after the restart, the Englishman racking up three wickets in quick succession to take his overall to five.

Peter Nevill and Joshua Laylor fell to Finn before Boyd Rankin took his first wicket of the match when he dismissed Christopher Tremain.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14:  Jonathan Bairstow of England bats during the tour match between CA Invitational XI and England at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 14, 2013 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Australia’s lower order looked out of their depth, highlighted when Finn took the final wicket of Nicholas Bills to remove the hosts for a disappointing score of 304. They had added 33 runs for the loss of five wickets.

Finn will feel happier about his hopes of becoming England’s third Ashes seamer, although his form is still shaky at best. Despite taking five wickets, his line remained sloppy, and Australia's Ashes batsmen will not be expected to afford him such hospitality.

Andrew Wu of the Sydney Morning Herald remained jovial regarding Finn's performance:

England then took to the crease and quickly ushered in a spell of dominance.

Alastair Cook’s 81 set the tone for a calming performance, although Michael Carberry fell for the first time this tour, posting a disappointing four runs when he was caught by Nevill off the bowling of Lalor.

England Batting Figures
Alastair Cookc Nevill b Bills81
Michael Carberryc Nevill b Lalor4
Jonathan Trottc Nevill b Lalor83
Kevin Pietersencaught sub b Muirhead57
Ian Bellc Rohrer b Muirhead35
Joe Rootnot out26
Jonny Bairstownot out11
Australia Invitational XI Bowling Figures
Christopher Tremain15.04513.400
Joshua Lalor19.03824.322
Nicholas Bills14.01453.211
James Muirhead18.01975.392
Ben Rohrer2.0042.000
Aaron Finch5.01224.400

Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen built England’s score with scores of 83 and 57 respectively. Australia’s bowlers just couldn’t get to grips with the power and assurance of the visitors’ top order, allowing England to gain a modest total without much trouble.

Ian Bell wasted a start as he fell for 35. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow—the potential stand-in for Matt Prior—remained at the crease with 26 and 11 at the close of play, suggesting England can take a decent lead into the second innings if the duo bat sensibly on day three.

Lalor conjured up some sort of plaudits for the Australia XI with two wickets, while James Muirhead will be pleased to have matched his compatriot’s number.

Bills’ dismissal of Cook remained his only success, while Nevill took an impressive three catches to help the Aussies deal with a comfortable top order.

England firmly in control as we head into day three against a poor Australia side.

All statistics are courtesy of cricket365.