Nottinghamshire all-rounder Paul Coughlin bounced back from injury by hitting 64 from 49 balls for the England Lions in their only 50-over game of the trip, against a Western Australia XI.
He joined forces with former Durham team-mate Mark Wood, who made 51 from 52 balls following on from Nick Gubbins (38 off 44 balls) and Dan Lawrence (35 off 37) as the tourists finished on a total of 282.
However, in the first match of the white ball section of their tour – the team switch to T20 games tomorrow – it was always going to be tough to defend that score on a good batting pitch and with the famous Fremantle Doctor breeze blowing strong at the Murdoch University ground.
The home team eventually knocked off the runs with six wickets and 11 balls to spare, as Clint Hinchliffe, a 21-year-old who made 131 off 119 balls, and wicketkeeper Calum How, who ended with 80 not out, impressing.
Wood took two of the four wickets to fall and there was one each for Saqib Mahmood and George Garton, while Coughlin finished with 0-35 from his eight overs, with one maiden.
“We bowled well as a pace group, because it was a 350 pitch, and the conditions were something I wasn’t expecting to experience out here,” said Wood, who was the only bowler to complete his 10-over allocation and ended with 2-56.
“The groundsman warned us about the wind from Fremantle, and it was gale force. We had the pace bowlers running into it, and the spinners bowling with it, so their batters wouldn’t be hitting the spinners downwind. Maybe we should have mixed it up a bit, but it was really hard work.
“I’m really pleased to see Paul do so well, and to show the coaches out here what he can do after Brisbane.” England Lions' Mark Wood on Paul Coughlin
“I enjoyed the batting too, especially with Paul Coughlin. We’re good friends, so we know each other’s game pretty well – so even though we were in a bit of bother when I came in to join him, we kept it relaxed and relatively simple.”
Wood had special praise for Coughlin, who signed a three-year deal at Trent Bridge in September, after he suffered a hip problem in a three-day game at Brisbane.
The England cap added: “I’m really pleased to see Paul do so well, and to show the coaches out here what he can do after Brisbane.
“His knee got stuck in the turf after he’d dived for a ball and he was trying to get up quickly to throw. You think of the Simon Jones incident, but fortunately it only turned out to be bruising.
“That was painful for him for a while, but he’s showed today what he can do – he bowled well as well.”
The Lions are back at Murdoch for their first T20 game tomorrow, before their tour gains a higher profile next week with three games that will form part of Perth Scorchers’ preparation for the Big Bash – two of them at the new 55,000-capacity Perth Stadium.
The senior England squad are also due to arrive in Perth tomorrow for a two-day match at the weekend ahead of the third Test which starts at the WACA next Thursday.
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