Young guns fire to topple old heroes
Australian XI 5 for 173 (White 44*, McGrath 3-18) beat
ACA XI 9 for 156 (Carseldine 41, McKay 3-18) by 17 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The retired legends delivered some stinging lessons but it was the young pups of Michael Clarke's Australian XI who stole the Twenty20 exhibition at the Gabba. While the current generation was under pressure in the first half of both innings, it surged back each time to claim a 17-run success.
When Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden were together the Australian Cricketers' Association XI had a strong chance in their chase of 5 for 173, but once Hayden departed in the ninth over it took a while for Lee Carseldine and Travis Birt to regain the momentum. And when they both fell in the space of five balls the end was near, with the side finishing at 9 for 156.
Carseldine started cautiously and found some touch with a couple of fours before a massive pulled six off the expensive Peter Siddle, who took 2 for 35 off three. Birt joined in the fun with another clearance off Siddle that kept them on target and they needed 58 from the final five overs.
However Birt (26) fell to Clint McKay, leaving the score at 4 for 118, and Carseldine (41 off 31) departed in the following over with a miscued pull and a fine running take from Brad Haddin. McKay also knocked over Rhett Lockyear and Nathan Reardon to lead the figures with 3 for 18 while Shaun Tait and Steven Smith picked up two wickets each. Warne finished the game by taking Smith for a four, six and a two to the joy of the crowd.
Gilchrist had begun the chase by slashing Tait, whose pace peaked at 155kph, for four through point and followed up in the next by driving Siddle for four before immediately pulling him for six. Hayden then charged Siddle and thrashed him down the ground to show his power had not evaporated in retirement.
Siddle switched ends after his first effort went for 19 and he got Gilchrist to edge to Cameron White at first slip, concluding his bright stay at 21 off 21 deliveries. Next ball Daniel Harris nibbled at Siddle for the same result as the bowler found form at the Stanley Street End in his Test warm-up.
Hayden was keen to dominate and he fired the legspinner Steven Smith for a four straight down the ground before winning a reprieve to a tight call when Clarke claimed a low catch at cover. The game was a friendly but the decision was referred to the third umpire. It didn't matter as Smith had Hayden stumped for 25 off 22 in an eventful over.
Caught Gilchrist bowled McGrath made a return to the scorebook in the fourth over of the game when Warner (15) edged trying to push off the back foot. Glenn McGrath followed up with a bouncer to Clarke to collect a rare wicket maiden and returned later in the innings to remove David Hussey (22) and Adam Voges in two deliveries. The hat-trick ball struck White in the ribs and he finished with 3 for 18 from four overs, a haul made more impressive by his occasional appearances since retiring.
The opener Haddin was caught by Warne at cover attempting a seventh four and he walked off with 33 off 21 balls, having pushed his side to 2 for 67. When Warne (0 for 33) entered the attack to a loud cheer Haddin, who had enjoyed Jason Krejza's opening spell, pulled a short ball for a boundary and finished the over with another smart lofted four down the ground.
Clarke, who was careful in reaching a run-a-ball 27, was caught behind pushing at Reardon and the regular interruptions threatened to prevent the Australian XI from making a big total. But White showed some muscle at the end of the innings, blasting three sixes in his 44 from 24, to inflate the total with help from George Bailey's 30 from 16. Three clearances in Nathan Rimmington's final over, including ones over fine-leg and long-on by Bailey, resulted in 24 runs and a huge boost to the innings.
Gilchrist had also taken supporters back to Australia's glory days with his call from behind the stumps of "nice Shane" before he left the field after ten overs to be replaced by Graham Manou. Since the greats have retired Australia have slipped from first to fourth in the Test rankings, something they will be hoping to change from Thursday's first Test against West Indies.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo