|Ground:||Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi|
|Event:||England in Pakistan 2005/06|
DateLine: 31st October 2005
Opener Marcus Trescothick hit a fighting hundred to help England recover from a disastrous start in their warm-up game against the Pakistan Cricket Board Patron's XI here on Monday.
Trescothick made an unbeaten 124 to ensure England's first full outing since winning the Ashes last month was not a complete disaster, as the tourists made 256-9 on the first day of their three-day match at the Pindi stadium.
Trescothick was a picture of concentration during his 330-minute vigil, hitting 16 fours and a six and holding the side together after England were left tottering at 60-6 at lunch.
Pakistani pacemen Yasir Arafat (4-45) and Najaf Shah (3-58) destroyed the top order with their ability to reverse-swing the ball -- a bitter irony for England, who relied on the same technique to beat Australia this summer.
But Trescothick ensured all was not lost, making a valiant 117-run ninth wicket stand with reserve wicket-keeper Matt Prior, who hit a pugnacious 50.
The 29-year-old Trescothick hit his 13th boundary to reach a well deserved hundred much to the delight of his teammates. Alex Loudon was unbeaten on 2 on a day which saw England's much touted batting crumble.
Trescothick's opening partner Andrew Strauss (5) and captain Michael Vaughan (9) fell in Shah's first spell to leave England at 41-2 in the first match of their winter tour of Pakistan.
England's Ashes hero Kevin Pieterson lasted eleven deliveries before he fell to seamer Yasir Ali for two.
Arafat, who played for Scotland in the English season, then chipped in with the wickets of Paul Collingwood (0), Ian Bell (2) and Geraint Jones (4) as England tottered at 60-6.
But Trescothick then found able allies in Ashley Giles (30) and Shaun Udal (14) as he added an invaluable 60 runs before the next two wickets before Prior gave resolute support.
The match was declared a non-first class fixture after both teams agreed that eleven players would be allowed to bat and field but more could be called during bowling.
England, buoyed by their dramatic 2-1 win over Australia last month which gave them their first Ashes win in 18 years, play three Tests and five one-day matches in Pakistan.
They have been widely tipped as favourites to win this series and England coach Duncan Fletcher said Sunday his team wanted to win every Test to keep the Ashes momentum going.
England have another three-day side game starting in Lahore from November 6, before they take on Pakistan in the first Test at Multan from November 12.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)