Anderson and Clarke tune up in draw
New South Wales 9 for 355 dec and 6 for 194 (Clarke 68, Katich 55) drew with England XI 349 (Pietersen 122, Flintoff 62, Cook 59, Strauss 50)
James Anderson produced an important spell ahead of the first Test while Michael Clarke made a final push for Australian selection in the drawn tour game at the SCG. On a day that was little more than glorified practice, Clarke reached his second half-century of the game, Anderson was on a hat-trick in the final session and New South Wales were 6 for 194 when play ended 30 minutes early.
While Anderson will line up in Brisbane next week, Clarke is battling with Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds for the No. 6 spot, but it is hard to know what David Boon, the selector on duty, made of his efforts. Clarke was reprieved by a missed stumping from Geraint Jones in the over after tea and he was dismissed for 68 when bowled by Ashley Giles.
Simon Katich retired after the second session on 55 to give his young team-mates a bat in a match that was stripped of its first-class status when England got their wish to use 14 players. The move backfired as Anderson quickly ran through Aaron O'Brien (2) and Daniel Smith (0) in consecutive balls and he also picked up Moises Henriques for 12. Anderson finished with 3 for 40 while Matthew Hoggard and Ashley Giles were the other successful bowlers after Phil Jaques began the innings by running himself out in the first over for 4.
England were all out for 359 shortly before lunch as Kevin Pietersen capped an ideal Ashes preparation with a fine 122. Resuming on 80, Pietersen raised his century from 147 balls and struck 18 fours and two sixes, but he could not earn England a first-innings advantage and they finished six runs behind.
Andrew Flintoff also collected a half-century before he fell to Stuart Clark for 62, ending the 116-run partnership with Pietersen. Clark is also hitting form at the right time and finished with 3 for 50 while Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken added two victims each as England lost their final six wickets for 67 runs.
Bracken removed Pietersen when he stepped down the pitch and hit to mid-on, Lee bowled Giles and McGrath knocked over Jones. Stuart MacGill, who was part of New South Wales' extended team, did not deliver a ball in the match due to an elbow problem, but he will be available for selection in the Test squad.