Derbyshire v Australians, Tour match, Derby, 3rd day July 25, 2015

Batting practice for Clarke after Marsh four-for

Australians 413 for 9 dec (Warner 101, Marsh 101, Watson 61, Marsh 63) and 95 for 1 dec (Clarke 44*) drew with Derbyshire 259 (Palladino 82, Marsh 4-41, Ahmed 3-68)
Scorecard

Michael Clarke opened the batting in the Australians' second innings © Getty Images

As Chris Rogers made his first careful steps towards being passed fit for the Birmingham Test with some gentle walks around the Derby outfield, Michael Clarke sought to find his own path to batting form and confidence in the middle.

On the lowest key final day of a low key tour match against Derbyshire, Clarke's innings went a small distance towards helping Australia's captain find some touch ahead of what shapes as a pivotal third instalment of the Investec Ashes series.

His feet appeared more inclined to movement than they have been for some time, particularly after he threw his hands at a delivery from Will Davis that was dropped by the wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein, denying the 19-year-old debutant the prize of taking Clarke's wicket for the second time in the match.

Then 19, Clarke went on to 44 before he and the Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen agreed to call a halt to proceedings. Aside from centuries for Shaun Marsh and David Warner and more wickets for Mitchell Marsh, the most significant event of the match was Peter Nevill keeping wicket for all 82.3 overs of Derbyshire's innings without Brad Haddin donning the gloves even once. That call appears to have been made.

Derbyshire's innings spluttered along while losing regular wickets to the touring attack. In another sign of his burgeoning development as a bowler it was Marsh who claimed the finest figures, moving the ball at decent pace to nip out four of the local batsmen. Three arrived in 19 balls during his first spell of the day.

Fawad Ahmed claimed a trio of victims with his best bowling display of the tour, gaining sharp spin at times while also finding somewhat more dip than he managed against Kent in Canterbury. Nonetheless it was Fawad who bore the brunt of a bold lower-order attack by Tony Palladino, who clattered four sixes in his 82.

Batting a second time for reasons of match practice even though the follow-on was available, the tourists did not let their opponents take a wicket before the early close arrived at 4.50pm. Marsh made another fluent 30 before retiring during the tea break, leaving Adam Voges the chance to spend some time batting alongside Clarke. Both men will be eager for significant runs in Birmingham, having failed thus far to have the kind of impact they would have expected.

Rogers, meanwhile, ran drinks and gloves for his team-mates, and will hope that by Sunday morning in Birmingham he will feel ready for a return to something like full training. Edgbaston awaits.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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