Double fitness boost for England

Last updated at 14:12 13 July 2004

Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones each gave England notice of their return to fitness this morning in time for next week's first npower Test against West Indies at Lord's.

Hoggard and Jones turned out for the MCC against the Windies in the tourists' opening first-class fixture of the summer - and the duo both bowled lengthy pre-lunch spells without any apparent problems as Brian Lara's team posted 116 for two after electing to bat first on a slow wicket at Arundel.

Hoggard showed no ill-effects after his recent knee scare in a totesport League match for Yorkshire against Middlesex, the 27-year-old working up a decent turn of pace against Windies openers Chris Gayle and Devon Smith.

Hoggard began with a wide, and then his first legitimate delivery was cut to the boundary by Smith.

But after that he settled into a decent line and length and would have made a breakthrough had Graham Thorpe not put down a chance at second slip from an edge by Gayle on three.

Hoggard completed a spell of 7-2-9-0 before being replaced by South African Dale Benkenstein.

Jones attack

Jones came into the attack for Charl Willoughby, looking to confirm he was over the foot injury which had kept him out of the final two Tests against New Zealand.

The Glamorgan paceman had conceded 67 runs in 10 overs, playing for his county against Sri Lanka A on Friday and looked initially ring-rusty again today.

But he gradually found his rhythm and was rewarded in his fifth over when he dismissed Gayle for 43 to end an opening stand of 90 in 24 overs.

The opener had a let-off when first-slip Alastair Cook failed to hold on to a hard chance offered off Jones which sped away for four.

But two balls later the same combination accounted for Gayle, who had struck six fours and a six in his 83-ball innings.

Jones was rested after a spell of 6-0-27-1, and there was time for the MCC to secure a second wicket before lunch.

Kent spinner Min Patel was not afraid to throw the ball up and he accounted for Dwayne Bravo who tried to work the ball on the on side and was stumped by Riki Wessels for just four.

That brought in Lara, and he and Smith (48no) steered the Windies to lunch.

Lara had opted to play despite suffering from a flu bug. Three of the four players added to the one-day squad for the forthcoming Tests - Omari Banks, Pedro Collins and Fidel Edwards - were also included in the Windies side.

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