Clarke Hits Rapid Ton As Australians Set Huge Target
Michael Clarke and Phil Hughes plundered the Worcestershire bowling attack on day three of their tour match at New Road. Both men scored at better than a run-a-ball as the tourists declared on 344 for five in their second innings to set the home side an unlikely 457 for victory.
They began well, with Matthew Pardoe and Nick Compton unusually fluent in adding 57 in a little over 14 overs. However, just as they looked like reaching stumps unscathed, Compton was stumped off Ashton Agar for 26.
Worcestershire had begun the day on 246 for seven in their first innings and their tail held up Australia’s bowlers briefly before succumbing. Oxford University’s Charlie Morris ended unbeaten on 25, as Ryan Harris picked up two of the wickets to fall and James Faulkner bowled last man Chris Russell.
The day, though, belonged to Clarke and Hughes. They came together following another ponderous innings from Ed Cowan, who was dropped on nought before eventually being trapped leg-before by Jack Shantry, a decision he was a little displeased with.
Clarke raced to 100 off only 90 balls, while Hughes made 86 off 84 and only fell short of his century when bowled by Chris Russell. They added 132 for the third-wicket in less than 19 overs as Worcestershire’s attack looked threadbare. All of Morris, Russell and Moeen Ali conceded well in excess of five an over, with Jack Shantry the only man to offer a modicum of control, returning figures of two for 62 off 13 overs.
Clarke eventually fell to Shantry for 124 off 98 balls, having hit 16 fours and three sixes, but Steve Smith continued the free-scoring and made 43 off 35 balls and was out shortly before the tourists declared on 344 for five off only 55 overs.
© Cricket World 2013