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England get warm-up scare Published: 16 February 2011

Canada almost pulled of a sensational upset in England's first warm-up match for the ICC World Cup.

England were hoping to ease themselves slowly into the tournament with their first game under a week away.

With a match against affiliate nation Canada - who still hold the record for the lowest ever recorded score (36) in a World Cup - nothing less than a confidence boosting victory was expected.

Coach Andy Flower shuffled his deck again, moving Kevin Pietersen up the order to open alongside skipper Andrew Strauss.

The new line-up didn't work out exactly as hoped for - Strauss fell in just the second over - but Pietersen scored a rapid 24 to show there may be life in the idea.

Jonathan Trott (57) and Matt Prior (78) formed the mainstay of the innings as wickets fell around them. Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Michael Yardy and Luke Wright could all only manage single figures.

However, England's total of 243 looked more than defendable against the World Cup 'minnows'.

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England's bowling battery were boosted by the news that Stuart Broad was sufficiently recovered from his upset stomach to play.

Broad and another fit again bowler, Ajmal Shahzad, opened the bowling. When England had the Canadians at 28-5 a rapid conclusion to a satisfying day's work looked imminent.

But then Zubin Suraki and Rizwan Cheema formed a useful looking sixth wicket partnership.

'Useful' soon turned into 'dangerous' as Canada's total started to grow with ominous speed.

Off-spinner James Tredwell, seriously lacking in match practice, saw his first over thrashed for ten runs as the Canadian batsmen started to enjoy themselves.

Yardy finally removed the determined Suraki but number eight Khurram Chohan filled in where he left off - partnering the shot-making Cheema.

The 32-year-old all-rounder was finding the boundary with alarming ease, crashing Tredwell into the stands on repeated occasions.

Broad returned to finally remove the batsman who seemed to have mastered every other England bowler but not before Cheema had made 93 - including five 6s and 10 boundary 4s - in a thrilling 71-ball innings.

Canada's tail still failed to buckle - giving England continued cause for concern as they hoved in on their target of 244.

The returning Broad wrapped up an impressive 5-37 in his first match since December and, at last, Canada were all out for 227 - just 17 runs short of a famous win.


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