August 11, 2000

Aussies warm up with easy win over Queensland

Australia have begun their warmup for the Super Challenge series against South Africa next week with a 75-run win over a Queensland XI at Allan Border Field, Brisbane, today.

The Australian side, at full strength except for Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, who were both rested, made 7/238 in their fifty overs in a match starting at 9.30am in the middle of winter. The Queensland team, captained by Jimmy Maher and missing Andrew Symonds in the Australian team, and players such as Hayden, Law and Dale in England, were all out for 163 in 44.4 overs.

Maher won the toss and sent Australia into bat. Newly appointed vice-captain Adam Gilchrist was first to be dismissed, caught behind by Queensland wicketkeeper Wade Seccombe off Michael Pascoe for 1. Ponting (9) went cheaply and Bevan, who has been in outstanding form for Sussex in recent weeks, played a subdued innings, making 17 from 42 deliveries.

The Aussies were 1/77 after their first 15 overs, thanks mainly to the strokeplay of Mark Waugh. He later brought up his half-century in 74 deliveries, and made 77 before he became Brendan Creevey's only wicket of the day, caught by Jerry Cassell.

Following the dismissals of Steve Waugh (9), brother Mark, and then Andrew Symonds (5), it was Damien Martyn (53*) and Shane Lee (31) who stepped up the scoring. Left-arm spinner Matthew Anderson in particular came in for some punishment, at one point being struck for four consecutive boundaries by Lee.

The last over of the Australian innings saw sixes by Ian Harvey (9*) and Martyn off the bowling of Anderson (0/66). Scott Prestwidge (2/36), a former Mercantile Mutual Cup player of the year, was the only Queensland bowler to take more than one wicket. Andy Bichel (1/16 from five overs) bowled a compact spell at the start of the innings, notwithstanding his five wides.

Jason Gillespie, playing his first game in Australian colours for eleven months, started the Queensland innings off with a maiden over. Chasing an imposing 239 for victory, Queensland lost their first wicket when Jerry Cassell (4) fell to Brett Lee in the eighth over with the score on 18.

Jimmy Maher began to take the attack to the Australians, hitting the Lee brothers, Brett and Shane, for two fours each in consecutive overs. He followed this with a six off Shane later on, but when he had reached 47 out of Queensland's 66, he edged the new New South Wales captain to the waiting gloves of Adam Gilchrist.

Brian May (8) soon followed Maher back into the pavilion, and while Lee Carseldine (26) and Wade Seccombe (19) took the Queensland total into three figures. However the scoring rate was never a match for the Australians. Symonds struck twice in three overs to remove Prestwidge (0) and Bichel (3), at which point the score was 125 for 7.

Queensland were finally dismissed in the 45th over, with Michael Bevan (2/14) taking two late wickets. Brett Lee took 3/30 from his eight overs, while brother Shane (3/42) completed a good all-round day. Symonds' final figures were 2/24 from eight overs.

Gillespie (0/22 from eight overs) bowled in two spells of five and three overs respectively as he looks to regain his place with the Australian new ball - and possibly a battle with Brett Lee for that role.

Australia will play one more warmup match against the Queensland XI at Allan Border Field on Sunday before heading to Melbourne for the opening match in the Super Challenge 2000 at Colonial Stadium under a closed roof on Wednesday. The South Africans are scheduled to arrive in Brisbane tomorrow to train at Allan Border Field over the next two days.