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Saturday, July 04, 2009

North 's century reassures Australia but other problems remain.: Tour match Day 3

Australians 358 & 4/276 (M North 106*, M Clarke 80) lead England Lions 352 (S Moore 120, J Denly 66, A Rashid 66, S Davies 53, B Lee 6/76) by 282 runs with 6 wickets in hand: Day 3 at Worcester

The England Lions lower order, despite a feisty knock from Adil Rashid, didn't bat well enough to get a first innings lead.

Then Australia wobbled once more as Steve Harmison reprised his first innings performance and exposed Phillip Hughes' weakness against the short ball (he also reminded us that Ricky Ponting is not infallible). Nasser Hussain provided an excellent televised centre wicket tutorial during the tea interval about Hughes' flaw and Harmison's exposure of it.

Simon Katich compiled 37 before Michael Clarke (80/129b/8x4) and Marcus North (106*/185b/13x4) played themselves into form against bowling of variable quality. Clarke was his usual elegant self while North was effective if no match for his vice-captain in the fluency stakes.

There may not be enough time left to force a result but there should be enough interest to keep me up late again tonight.


The other warm up game, England v Warwickshire at Edgbaston ended, as was not exactly unexpected given that only 3 days were allocated, in a draw. The national team had much the better of it. Australian supporters will be hoping that the England selectors, on the strength of Monty Panesar's figures in the match, will include him in the First Test XI.


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