Matt Prior backs Gary Ballance after golden duck

Prior backs Ballance after duck
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England wicket-keeper Matt Prior is quick to defend Gary Ballance after the left-hander fell to a first-ball duck against Western Australia.

Matt Prior has leapt to the defence of batsmen Gary Ballance after he failed to make an impression in England's warm-up match against Western Australia in Perth.

The Yorkshire left-hander – who was selected after his performances in the County Championship this year – fell first ball as the tourists collapsed on day three, but Prior played down his dismissal.

He told The Guardian: "A guy scores a huge amount of runs, turns up over here all excited first knock and gets a duck. It's happened to a few of us in the past.

"He's hitting the ball brilliantly in the nets, he looks the part, and he'll get another opportunity I'm sure to get a score."

The game ended in a draw after England reduced the hosts to 168-5 in their second innings, with Steven Finn taking two wickets in his ninth over as he looks to find form ahead of the first Test in Brisbane.

England's Matt Prior dives forward to catch the ball and dismiss Australia's Chris Rogers on day three of the fourth Ashes Test
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