Aussie top order sends shot across the bow

Australia

Australia's top batting order sent out a warning shot across England's bow on Tuesday, racking up 340 for four on day one of their warm up game against Worcestershire, a week before the Ashes.

Australia's top batting order sent out a warning shot across England's bow on Tuesday, racking up 340 for four on day one of their warm up game against Worcestershire, a week before the Ashes.

While the ground, New Road, is one of the smallest in England, and the Worcs bowling attack cannot be compared to England's, the batsmen would have taken heart from the runs gained, and the time spent in the middle.

New opening partners Shane Watson and Chris Rogers, who will open together at Trent Bridge in the first Test, got their collaboration off to a superb start, putting on 170 for the first wicket in 35 overs.

Watson, under pressure to perform as one of the senior players, recorded a nifty century and used up just 111 balls, striking 14 fours and two sixes before falling to Moeen Ali, caught by Jack Shantry.

Rogers, about to play just his second Test at the age of 35, used his experience in English conditions to great effect, making 75 off 127 balls before being caught by Dutchman Alexei Kervezee off Shantry.

Skipper Michael Clarke and ousted opener Ed Cowan also took advantage of the favourable conditions, both recording half centuries. They didn't go at quite the pace the openers had, but still milked the runs before tea.

They were both run out within a few overs of each other, Clarke going first after responding to Cowan's dodgy call. The skipper was out for 62 off 88 balls, another Kervezee victim. Cowan went for 58 soon after, run out by Matthew Pardoe.

This left Steve Smith and Phil Hughes to bat till the close, and they calmly took the score to 340 before the lack of decent light forced the players from the field.

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