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July 29, 2012
Australia A 362 for 4 dec (Cowan 109) and 221 for 7 dec (Smith 78) drew with Derbyshire 269 for 3 dec (Palladino 106) and 270 for 9 (Khawaja 66, Redfern 56, Lyon 4-115)
Derbyshire's last-wicket pair, Christopher Durham and Mark Footitt, survived 35 balls to deny Australia A victory in the opening match of their tour after Test duo Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon had combined to take seven wickets.
Australia A had declared an hour into final morning, following a stand of 73 between Ed Cowan and Mitchell Starc, to leave Derbyshire a target of 315 and the top order laid a solid foundation as Usman Khawaja hit 66. Daniel Redfern also compiled a confident half-century but the middle and lower order fell away against Johnson and Lyon.
However, Durham, the 20-year-old wicketkeeper making his first-class debut, and No. 11 Footitt resisted for the final 20 minutes of the day to ensure honours were even after a keenly fought three days.
Johnson's figures of 3 for 47 were a marked improvement on the first innings where he went wicketless and the first of his three scalps came early when he removed Wayne Madsen. Khawaja, against his fellow countrymen, and Matt Lineker then added 92 for the second wicket to give Derbyshire hope of making a significant attempt at the target.
Lyon broke through when Lineker offered a return catch and Khawaja was soon removed by Johnson to leave Derbyshire at 127 for 3. Redfern helped steady the innings but Australia A continued to chip away either side of the tea interval. Jackson Bird had Ross Whiteley lbw before Redfern was caught behind off Starc.
Derbyshire, to their credit, did not go into their shells with Wes Durston putting pat to ball for 40 off 31 deliveries but the target was always a little out of sight. David Wainwright was stumped off Lyon and Tony Palladino, the first-innings century-maker, edged to Tim Paine off Johnson as Australia A closed in on victory but they could not quite cross the line.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?