Easy win for Board XI

With all their injury worries ahead of the First Test, England really need to have their fit players firing, but today signalled that that is not the case.

Resuming on 10/2, a win was never going to be a likely result, but they would have expected to put on a better show with the bat. Nightwatchman Matthew Hoggard, who has made great progress with the bat in the last two years, batted resolutely through the session, showing off his trademark forward defence. Trescothick went just before the break, pushing at a full one with no footwork.

After lunch, a crisp cover drive gave Hoggard some confidence, but his next shot, a flick to mid-wicket, was pouched by Suresh Raina. Andrew Flintoff had previously said his poor form was not bothering him, but he made need to rethink as he failed again, as he was caught behind second ball. There was no Kevin Pietersen for England, he was absent with his back injury.

Ian Bell settled into his groove, but after making 29, a beauty of an outswinger from VRV Singh found the edge. Geraint Jones attempted an ambitious pull off Powar, and England were in trouble. With Patel bowling out of his skin, Blackwell and Plunkett tentatively took England to 155/7, but then Patel really caught fire.

An inswinger removed Plunkett’s off stump, Ian Blackwell missed a straight one and Monty Panesar was trapped lbw first ball. Patel ended up with 5-32 and match figure of 10-91, showing the cricketing world what he can do and silencing his critics.

The target of 55 was no problem for the Board XI, they reached it in 17 overs, for the loss of just two wickets.

England have a lot of work to do before day one at Nagpur, not least with their batting, the fact that Hoggard top-scored says it all, even without Pietersen and Vaughan.

Indian Board President’s XI 342/8 dec. & 58-2
Gautam Gambhir 22*
Mathhew Hoggard 1/10, Monty Panesar 1/20

Indian Board President’s XI won by 8 wickets

England 238 & 158
Matthew Hoggard 42
Munaf Patel 5-32, Ramesh Powar 2-51

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