Mark Stoneman happy with form as opener becomes first England batsman to hit a century on current Ashes tour

 
Frank Dalleres
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Stoneman's hundred followed three consecutive half-centuries (Source: Getty)

England opener Mark Stoneman declared himself pleased with his form after hitting the first century of the tourists’ pre-Ashes warm-up schedule on Thursday.

Stoneman’s 111 was the highlight of England’s march to 337-3 on day two against a Cricket Australia XI, which also featured 70 from Alastair Cook and unbeaten knocks of 62 and 57 from captain Joe Root and Dawid Malan.

“It was nice to get the three figures after the starts I’ve had so far on the tour and take on another level of progression which we’ve required really from the warm-up games that we’ve had, getting closer to the first Test,” said the Surrey left-hander.

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“I’m in decent touch. Everyone’s critical of the opposition that we’ve faced, but in terms of how I’ve played in the conditions I’m fairly happy. Everything’s gone well in practice as well, so it feels like my game’s in good order.”

Stoneman, who had made three fifties in his previous three innings on this tour, admits the first Test, which starts on Thursday at The Gabba, will pose a sterner challenge.

He added: “Obviously there’s going to be more pace and bounce in the pitch at Brisbane, but we’re playing here against a completely different team and all you can do is go through the process.”

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