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Sports

AFP
November 16, 2017

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Woakes takes six, Bairstow injury scare for English tourists

Woakes takes six, Bairstow injury scare for English tourists

TOWNSVILLE, Australia: In-form England paceman Chris Woakes claimed six wickets and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow had an injury scare as a Cricket Australia XI reached 249 for nine at the close on the opening day of their four-day tour match in Townsville on Wednesday.

The Warwickshire fast bowler finished the day with six for 54 in the final warm-up game before next week’s Ashes series opener against Australia in Brisbane.The tourists didn’t help their cause by spilling three catches as CA XI skipper Matt Short topscored with 51.

England had an early injury scare when Test ‘keeper Bairstow was forced off the field for an hour after getting hit on a finger.

Bairstow was replaced by tour understudy Ben Foakes, who took a catch before Bairstow returned to the game with bruising to the middle finger of his left hand.Woakes followed up his match-winning four for 17 in the second innings against CA XI in Adelaide with an even better one, taking four for eight at one stage in Townsville.

He heads into the first Gabba Test in terrific form after he was ruled out for bulk of last season with a side injury suffered during the Champions Trophy.“It’s nice to get wickets in any game. A week away from the first Test, it’s nice to hit a bit of form,” Woakes said.

“I felt that it came out nicely today, which gives me a little bit of confidence. I’ll continue to work and hopefully be ready for next week.”Test hopeful Craig Overton (2-32) also edged closer to his debut.

Off-spinner Moeen Ali had his first bowl on the tour after recovering from a side strain. He finished wicketless for 39 off 16 overs.England’s spin pair Mason Crane and Moeen were astray with their bowling lengths during the morning session.Leg-spinner Crane had two catches dropped off his bowling while a diving Bairstow also missed an opportunity when Woakes found the edge of Simon Milenko’s bat.

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