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Woakes takes six wickets on day one of England's final Ashes warm-up

From BBC - November 15, 2017

Chris Woakes took six wickets as England were made to field all day by a Cricket Australia XI in their final Ashes warm-up match.

Woakes (6-54) took four wickets for eight runs either side of lunch to help reduce CA XI to 118-5, but the hosts stubbornly reached 249-9 at the close.

England dropped three catches and their bowlers sometimes struggled with length on day one of the four-day match.

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was absent for an hour after a blow to the finger.

He was replaced by Ben Foakes, who was summoned from the nets and took a catch within two overs of coming on.

Bairstow was eventually able to resume after only suffering bruising to the middle finger of his left hand.

Meanwhile, Jake Ball, who sprained his ankle last week, and James Anderson, struck down by illness on Tuesday, both returned to bowling in the nets.

The right preparation?

A slow Townsville surface, following a similarly sluggish pitch in Adelaide in the previous game, does not seem ideal preparation for the pace and bounce that England will face in the first Test in Brisbane next week.

"It's slow in pace and you would imagine that a Test wicket would be quicker than that," said Woakes after the match.

Not only that, but the hosts have only played 75 first-class matches between them and are almost identical to the side bowled out for 75 last week.

England, asked to field after losing the toss, improved as the day progressed after spin pair Mason Crane and Moeen Ali were guilty of poor length during the morning session.

Crane was hindered by two dropped catches, a difficult chance to a leaping Mark Stoneman at point and a straightforward one to Joe Root at slip both reprieving home captain Matthew Short, who made 51.

A diving Bairstow also missed an opportunity when Woakes found the edge of Simon Milenko's bat.

Woakes shines

Despite the slow surface, Woakes bowled with pace and found success by pitching the ball up and moving it off the seam.

A taste of things to come?

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