Pakistan v England: Viljoen holds up England in warm-up

Tour match, Dubai (ICC Global Cricket Academy), day one:
ICC Combined Associate & Affiliate XI 281 v England 16-0
Match scorecard
Christi Viljoen hits out, watched by England keeper Steven Davies
Viljoen hit his highest first-class score as the ICC XI's tail wagged

England were held up by Namibia all-rounder Christi Viljoen's 98 on the first day of their opening three-day warm-up game against an ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI in Dubai.

Stuart Broad (4-46) removed the ICC's top three cheaply as England's front-line bowlers made early inroads.

But Viljoen and Ireland's Boyd Rankin (43) added 97 for the ninth wicket as the hosts were bowled out for 281.

Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook took England safely to 16-0 by the close.

Although encouraged by Broad's return to action after he missed the one-day series in India with a shoulder injury, England will be disappointed to have let the ICC XI's tail-end batsmen off the hook after having them 11-3 and 122-7.

The 'home' side, an unusual XI featuring players from Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Namibia, will be the first of two sides to play England before the tthree-Test series against Pakistan begins on 17 January.

The tourists included nine of their likely Test XI as Tim Bresnan's elbow injury gave Steven Finn a chance to press his credentials for the third seamer's spot, while reserve wicketkeeper Steven Davies had a run-out in place of Matt Prior, nursing a bruised finger, at the ICC's Global Cricket Academy.

Ireland skipper William Porterfield, leading the ICC XI, fellow Ireland opener Paul Stirling and Scotland's Kyle Coetzer were all dismissed early by Broad.

Afghanistan keeper Mohammad Shahzad (51) stabilised for the hosts in mid-innings before Viljoen went on the attack, helped by Scotland spinner Majid Haq (26) and the unlikely figure of England Lions pace bowler Rankin, who easily passed his previous first-class score of 28.

James Anderson needed the second new ball to remove Rankin before Viljoen top-edged a skier and Anderson ran back from slip to deny him a maiden first-class century, while also handing Broad his fourth wicket.

"The shoulder seems fine, stronger than it was before," said Broad. "Whatever you do in the gym, nothing gets your body like doing 90 overs in the field so I'm a little bit scared of waking up tomorrow.

"We've had these GPS things on today and mine shows I've done more than 16k, so I will be a little bit sore in the morning.

"Getting four wickets with the new ball was crucial. It didn't do loads, but there was something to keep you interested.

"That's going to be crucial for us in the Test matches series, to use the new ball and the second new ball wisely."

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