Townsville - England batsman Dawid Malan warmed up for the first Ashes
Test by hitting a century on the third day of the final tour game against a
Cricket Australia XI in Townsville on Friday.
After Mark Stoneman (111) posted the visitors' first century
on tour on Thursday, Malan struck 109 and captain Joe Root 83 as England were
bowled out for 515.
The home side were 121/3 at stumps, still trailing by 144
runs, but more importantly for the tourists was that off-spinner Moeen Ali took
two of the wickets that fell in the final session.
Although happy that Malan and Root found some form with the
willow, England will have been disappointed at how they collapsed towards the
end of the innings with only Chris Woakes (36 off 81 balls) getting some
valuable time in the middle.
Jonny Bairstow (19), Moeen (1) and Craig Overton (0) failed
to make an impression with the bat in what could be a final tune-up ahead of
the first Ashes Test starting at the GABBA on 23 November.
England's bowlers will get another chance to get some overs
under the belt on the final day and will hope to dismiss the home side to wrap
up what would be a morale-boosting win.