SYDNEY, Nov 13: Former Test opener Ed Cowan scored an unbeaten half-century as a Cricket Australia Invitation XI recovered from the loss of early wickets against England on Wednesday.
At lunch on the opening day of England´s final warm-up game ahead of next week´s first Ashes Test, the invitational side were 85 for three after being sent into bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Cowan, who was passed over by Australia´s selectors on Tuesday for next week´s Brisbane Test, was on 51 with Ben Rohrer not out 14.
Stuart Broad was the best of the tourists´ bowlers with two wickets for 15 off seven overs as James Anderson and Chris Tremlett were rested ahead of the Ashes series opener.
Broad had Aaron Finch caught behind for four and trapped Callum Ferguson leg before wicket for eight to leave the invitational side at 27 for two in 11 overs.
Paceman Steven Finn had Kurtis Patterson well caught at first slip by skipper Alastair Cook for five to have the home side 37 for three in the 16th over.
But Cowan was resolute and got to lunch unbeaten after facing 78 balls for nine boundaries.
He had to scrap early in his innings. He was almost caught at slip and was hit on the helmet by a short-pitched Finn delivery.
Cook won the toss and chose to bowl first, deciding that his bowlers were most in need of a workout after limited time on the field so far on tour becuase of poor weather.
Kevin Pietersen was included in the England team after having a cortisone injection for a troublesome knee, while Ian Bell returned to the batting line-up.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior was left out for Jonny Bairstow as he receives treatment for a calf strain.
The five-Test Ashes series begins on November 21 in Brisbane.