English warm up well
England head into next week's Ashes opener brimming with confidence after a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over Australia A on the fourth and final day of their tour match at Bellerive Oval on Saturday.
Skipper Andrew Strauss hit the winning runs to clinch England's second victory on their Australian tour to wrap up a meticulous preparation for the first Brisbane Test, starting on Thursday.
Pacemen Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan relished their first bowling opportunities on tour with the first-choice Test pace trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steve Finn rested ahead of the Test.
Bresnan captured 4-86 in Australia A's second innings of 301 to finish with six wickets for the match, while Tremlett took 3-67 for seven wickets.
"Winning two games gives us confidence," England batsman Paul Collingwood said.
"The guys are very confident going into Thursday. They are excited. It was an exceptional performance in this match especially.
"There's genuine belief in the side that we can do it."
Australia A, with skipper Cameron White hitting 111, forced England to bat a second time for the required nine runs for victory.
England's Test opening pair Strauss and Alastair Cook only took nine balls to polish off the runs with Strauss clipping Peter George for four to seal the victory and finished nine not out, with Cook on two.
The highlight of England's four days in Hobart was Ian Bell's commanding knock of 192 in the first innings, putting the Warwickshire right-hander in great heart for the Ashes battle.
"The Ashes are the ultimate, the biggest kind of challenge that you can have as a cricketer," Collingwood said.
"That's why we're so excited. We've been waiting a long time.
"To get the opportunity as a player is a great feeling. We have the belief and we are playing some very good cricket."
SCORES IN BRIEF
AUSTRALIA A: First innings 230 (O'Keefe 66, S. Smith 59; C. Tremlett 4-54, A. Shahzad 3-57)
ENGLAND: First innings 523 (I. Bell 192, P. Collingwood 89, A. Cook 60; O'Keefe 4-88)
AUSTRALIA A: Second innings 301 (White 111, Hughes 81; Bresnan 4-86, Panesar 3-63, Tremlett 3-67)
ENGLAND: Second innings 11 for 0 (Strauss 9 not out, Cook 2 not out)
Result: England won by 10 wickets.