|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
July 5, 2013
Australians 396 for 4 dec (Watson 109) and 341 for 5 dec (Clarke 124) drew with Worcestershire 284 (Compton 79) and 274 for 5 (Pardoe 57, Mitchell 54)
Australia's coach Darren Lehmann ran the drinks but the more enduring refreshment of wickets was elusive for the tourists as an obstinate Worcestershire dug in for the draw on the final day of the tour match at New Road. In a convivial atmosphere far removed from the tension likely to greet them on day one at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, Michael Clarke signalled he had given up attempts to bowl out the hosts by handing an over to Phillip Hughes that concluded with the shaking of hands.
While the match was not won, Clarke's men will travel to Nottingham with a great deal more optimism than had existed in their ranks 11 days ago when the coach Mickey Arthur was sacked and replaced by Lehmann. All the batsmen have made some kind of score, and every bowler gained enough overs to feel ready for Test match duty, even if wickets have not always been easy to come by.
Ryan Harris dismissed Alexei Kervezee and Worcestershire's captain Daryl Mitchell to claim the Australians' only wickets after lunch. James Faulkner had accounted for Matthew Pardoe and Moeen Ali amid a parsimonious morning spell of 7-4-8-2, but the rest of the touring bowlers were less successful. Jackson Bird, Shane Watson, Ashton Agar and Steve Smith all toiled without success, though the team remained chipper in the field on a picturesque summer's day.
Lehmann's appearance at drinks maintained his knack for lightening the mood, though there was briefly more concern for Ed Cowan at short leg when a Smith short ball was pulled violently into the back of his helmet. Cowan rolled around in obvious pain before resuming his post.
Pardoe and Ali resumed without any real intent of pursuing their distant target, weathering the early spells of Bird and Harris while Agar wheeled away from the Diglis End. Faulkner's introduction was to prove more fruitful, drawing an edge from Pardoe that was neatly held by Clarke at slip.
Mitchell escaped one Faulkner lbw appeal and was fortunate a second time when an apparent bat/pad chance from Agar's bowling was turfed by Smith, diving across the pitch with one hand. But Ali was not to make it to the interval, punching one attractive drive down the ground from Faulkner before being pinned on the boot by a yorker and given lbw.
Harris struck soon after the resumption, tilting Kervezee's middle stump with a ball that cut back, but hopes of a quick finish were snuffed out by Mitchell and Tom Fell, who stonewalled gravely and effectively for the remainder of the session, with Fell reaching a worthy maiden first-class fifty.
Mitchell eluded another lbw appeal, this time by Harris, before the adjournment, but did not advance much further. Faulkner claimed the catch from a shovel towards midwicket, the lack of pace in the pitch contributing. That was to be the end of the joy for the Australians, as the surface remained helpful to batsmen and impervious to the bowlers' efforts to extract any life.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Bowlers who have been around for plenty of time but haven't played in cricket's biggest show
A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers