Aussie batting woes continue
Australia were on 227-6 at stumps on the final day of the warm-up match, which they drew with the England Lions on Saturday.
<b>Australia were on 227-6 at stumps on the final day of the warm-up match, which they drew with the England Lions on Saturday.</b>
The final result was inevitable, as the match only lasted two days. However, when the Australians reflect on it there will still be considerable anxiety ahead of the fifth Ashes Test. Most of the Australian top order failed to impress yet again on this forgettable tour.
While there were meaningful starts, none of the top order batsmen were able to build on the momentum they had created, which would have been a source of considerable frustration for the tourists.
The Australian innings actually got off to a promising start, as David Warner and Ed Cowan put on 52 runs for the first wicket.
The duo also accumulated those runs at a decent pace. However, Warner was the first to depart, after he was stumped off the bowling of Simon Kerrigan.
During his 59 minutes at the crease the Australian opener scored 35 off 46 balls.
Warner had been the aggressor during that opening stand and his five boundaries would suggest as much. This tour match presented the ideal opportunity for Cowan to produce a meaningful innings, which would hopefully catch the attention of the national selectors.
However, the Australian opener failed to build on the momentum he had created and was caught by Jos Buttler off the bowling of Liam Plunkett for just 17 runs.
He and Phil Hughes, another batsman under considerable scrutiny, could only add six runs for the second wicket.
Shane Watson came in at four for the Australians and added some much needed impetus to the innings. In a delightful display of controlled aggression Watson and Hughes added 59 runs for the third wicket.
At this juncture Australia were actually rather threatening, as the duo scored at 4.65 runs to the over. However, Watson succumbed to the bowling of James Harris in the 30th over.
The Australian captain scored 45 runs in just 44 balls during his tenure at the crease. During that period Watson hit nine boundaries, including a six.
Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja had a lot to prove ahead of this fixture and both batsmen failed yet again. Smith was bowled by Ben Stokes for just 18 runs, while Khawaja was caught by Butler off the bowling of Stokes for just four runs.
Hughes and Matthew Wade could only add four runs to the overall tally before the former was bowled by Keith Parker for a watchful 30. Hughes spent 118 minutes at the crease and faced 92 balls before he was dismissed.
Wade and James Faulkner added 67 for the seventh wicket before the day came to a close. Wade finished on 38 not out, while Faulkner scored a quick-fire 29 during that period. It was a good day at the office for Stokes, who took 2-27 in 13 impressive overs.
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