Worcestershire on the back foot

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Worcestershire will start day three trailing Australia by 150 runs with three wickets remaining in the first innings.

<b>Worcestershire will start day three trailing Australia by 150 runs with three wickets remaining in the first innings.</b>

Earlier in the day the tourists declared their innings on 396-4, thanks in part to meaningful contributions from Shane Watson (109) and Chris Rodgers who scored 75. In what has become a rare occurrence, the entire Australian top order made decent starts, with Ed Cowan, Michael Clarke and Steve Smith all scoring half centuries.

The Australian batsmen, most of whom have no real experience playing cricket in English conditions would have appreciated the time they got to spend out in the middle. However, Phil Hughes, who batted at six in the Australian innings didn't get as much time in the middle, as his captain decided to declare.

Nevertheless, this presented the Australian bowling line-up with the opportunity to test its abilities at New Road. James Faulkner was the first to draw blood after he dismissed Matthew Pardoe for just 16 runs.

The next batsman Moeen Ali, who spent the greater part of an hour out in the middle, was eventually dismissed by Ashton Agar for just ten runs. Nick Compton and Daryl Mitchell put up some resistance and contributed 92 runs for the third wicket.

Compton was eventually dismissed for 79 and Mitchell had the unenviable task of trying to anchor the innings while more wickets fell around him. He eventually succumbed to the bowling of Jackson Bird for 65 runs.

The hosts finished the day on 246-7. The chief destroyer for Australia was Bird, who took 4-58. Agar contributed with 2-79.

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