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July 17, 2005
Leicestershire 217 (Rogers 56, Lee 4-58) and 363 for 5 (Rogers 209, Robinson 81, MacGill 4-122) drew with Australian XI 582 for 7 (Martyn 154*, Ponting 119, Langer 115)
Another day, another Australian century. Only this time it was Leicestershire's Australian, Chris Rogers, who took the attack to the tourists with a crashing double ton that ensured the draw at Grace Road in the final warm-up match before the Ashes. Only Stuart MacGill was anywhere near convincing for Australia, taking four of the five wickets they managed on the final day of the three-day match.
Brett Lee captured the other wicket, although he was unable to replicate his first-innings form, and his 13 overs cost 78. Still, the Test selector David Boon will have taken note of Lee's five wickets for the match. Boon will have also kept a careful eye on Jason Gillespie, who was wicketless in the second innings. But so was Gillespie's close rival Michael Kasprowicz, and the match has done little to split the two on form - both were largely ineffective.
Instead the day belonged to Rogers and his 209 saved the match. Leicestershire had started the morning needing 365 to avoid an innings defeat after Australia declared on their overnight total off 582 for 7. And a buoyant Australia fancied their chances of skittling out Leicestershire in the same clinical manner as they had done in the first innings.
Any plans Australia had of recording victory were soon dashed by the openers Rogers and Darren Robinson, who made the game safe by adding 247 for the first wicket. Robinson collected 81 before being bowled by Lee, but Rogers continued in punishing form to put the result beyond any doubt. His 209 came from 219 balls, containing 32 fours and three sixes, and although his demise at the hands of MacGill heralded a mini collapse, Leicestershire still had five wickets remaining at stumps.
``All in all it was a pretty disappointing day for us,'' Australia's captain Ricky Ponting told PA. ``We thought if we could take some wickets with the new ball we might be able to bowl them out at some stage. All the guys really tried their hardest, but unfortunately we weren't quite good enough to win. Everybody is pretty exhausted tonight - there was nothing left in the tank.''
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