Hussey Hits Form Against Lions
Australia batsman Michael Hussey made a timely return to form against England Lions at New Road in the final Ashes warm-up.
Michael Hussey made a timely return to form in Australia's final match before the Ashes series gets under way with a century against England Lions at New Road.
Hussey reached three figures off 153 balls via a back foot cover drive off leg spinner Adil Rashid which brought him his 15th boundary.
It was Hussey's first ton in any form of cricket for nine months since his 146 against India in a Test match in Bangalore last October.
Since then the 34-year-old has failed to achieve another hundred in 21 Test knocks and his average in the five-day format of the game has plummeted from 80 at the beginning of 2008 down to 55.
Hussey survived one chance against the Lions when on 75 as paceman Sajid Mahmood spilled a relatively straightforward caught and bowled opportunity.
His efforts enabled the tourists to overcome a mid-innings wobble, in which they lost four wickets for 32 runs in 10 overs, to reach 337 for eight from 90 overs by the close.
Hussey remained unbeaten on 143 from 221 deliveries with 18 fours.
But overall the Lions stuck gamely to their task on a wicket which offered early assistance after Australia skipper Ricky Ponting had elected to bat but gradually flattened out.
Steve Harmison (three for 67) and Graham Onions (two for 62) were the pick of the bowlers and the Australians were given a searching examination by the Durham duo on a muggy morning.
Ponting had admitted his side needed to improve on their performance in the drawn 12-a-side game with Sussex in their only first class game before the first Test.
Harmison made the first breakthrough when Phillip Hughes, on seven, fended a short ball off the handle of his bat to Joe Denly at gulley.
Ponting struggled before his dismissal to Onions for only a single. He tried a forcing shot off the back foot and fell to a head high catch by Worcestershire skipper Vikram Solanki at first slip on his home ground.
Opener Simon Katich and Hussey led a recovery via a third-wicket stand of 141 in 29 overs and the runs flowed at a fast rate in the early part of the afternoon session.
But the dismissal of Katich for 95 off 122 balls with 15 fours, pulling a leg stump delivery from Harmison to Onions at fine leg, sparked an upturn in the Lions' fortunes.
The ball was changed after going out of shape and immediately Bresnan accounted for Michael Clarke (four) who drove to Rashid at backward point.
Onions collected his second wicket of the innings when Marcus North chopped onto his stumps after making only a single and he has scored only 13 runs in his last three knocks.
Then Bresnan struck again as wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (seven) was trapped lbw although replays suggested the ball may have missed his leg stump.
Australia were precariously placed at 197 for six but there is depth to their batting and this was emphasised by Mitchell Johnson who provided good support for Hussey.
He lofted Rashid over mid wicket for a massive six in making 47 during a stand of 109 in 29 overs before gloving a leg-side delivery from Bresnan through to wicket-keeper Steven Davies.
England skipper Ian Bell immediately took the second new ball and Harmison showed his quality in yorking Brett Lee (six).
Zak Crawley up for two PCA awards after impressive summer
The batsman was handed his first red-ball central contract on Wednesday.
England centrally contracted players close to accepting pay cuts over next year
The ECB has yet to finalise payment terms for its retained players.
How a conversation with Virat Kohli changed Sanju Samson’s approach
Sanju Samson has started the 2020 Indian Premier League on fire and hopes for force his way back into the India team.
What next for Jonny Bairstow after he misses out on Test central contract?
Jonny Bairstow has averaged only 17.45 in his last 20 Test innings.
England contracts look to the future as Jonny Bairstow misses out
The Yorkshire wicketkeeper-batsman has lost his Test deal in the latest round of awards.
Rashid Khan: I keep calm and cool and focused on what I have to do
Rashid Khan dedicated his man of the match award to his parents who recently passed away.
Tom Westley sorry after alcohol poured over Feroze Khushi in Lord’s celebrations
The captain apologises after Essex admitted the celebrations failed to meet their inclusive values.
Sascoc ask government to intervene in Cricket South Africa crisis
Cricket South Africa have been backed into a corner but continue to resist Sascoc attempts to audit their operations.
Gloucestershire players are together and hoping to go a step further
There has been T20 quarter-final disappointment in three of the most recent four seasons.