England struggles in draw against CA XI

England took just one wicket on Saturday as it drew with a Cricket Australia XI ahead of the Ashes.

Australia XI's Matthew Short (right) celebrates his century against England as Jason Sangha looks on. The pair added 263 runs for the fourth wicket.   -  AFP

England endured a frustrating final day in its last tour match before the Ashes, taking just one wicket to draw with a Cricket Australia XI on Saturday.

The tourist looked on track to head into the first Test after back-to-back wins, but it was forced to toil in Townsville.

Only Mason Crane (2-97) was able to grab a wicket on day four as Matthew Short (134 not out) and Jason Sangha (133) starred for the CA XI.

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Short, 22, and Sangha, 18, put on a 263-run partnership for the fourth wicket as the host reached 364 for 4 — a lead of 99 runs — in its second innings.

Sangha became the second youngest player to score a first-class century against England, behind only the great Sachin Tendulkar.

Worryingly for England, they created few opportunities, although Mark Stoneman did drop Sangha early in the day.

Moeen Ali finished with figures of 2-88 — both of his wickets taken on day three, with England having reduced the CA XI to 121/3 heading into Saturday.

But Stuart Broad (0/40), Chris Woakes (0/50) and Craig Overton (0/65) were unable to make breakthroughs.

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While James Anderson will return for next week's first Test in Brisbane, the final day was a worry for England.

Short and Sangha had played just five first-class matches between them heading into this tour match, and both notched their maiden centuries.

The highlight of the day in the field may have come thanks to a groundsman, who took a diving catch from a Short six.