Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc bowl Australia to big win
Australia 562 & 221 (Clarke 77) beat
Essex 414 & 200 (ten Doeschate 61) by 169 runs
Tour Match, Chelmsford, day four
Fantastic bowling performances by pace bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc ensured an emphatic 169-run margin for Australia over Essex on the final day of the tour match in Chelmsford.
Australia didn’t add many to their overnight score of 212 for eight as the final two wickets fell for an addition of a mere nine runs.
Jamie Porter (3-42) ended Peter Siddle’s (19) long vigil at the crease by getting through the 30-year-old’s defences and then removed Nathan Lyon in the same over to bowl out the Australian side.
Chasing a highly improbable target of 370, Essex declared their intentions through opening batsman Jesse Ryder (37), who tore into the Australian attack.
With first innings centurion Tom Westley unfit to bat due to injury, Ryder was pushed up the order to open the batting.
The burly left-hander was particularly severe on Hazlewood (4-42) as 27 runs came off the pacer’s first over that included five boundaries and a six.
Hazlewood had some respite as he managed to trap Ryder’s partner Jaik Mickleburgh (4) plumb in front of the wicket.
Starc (3-26) immediately dealt the big blow by removing the dangerous Ryder, whose 19-ball cameo ended when he missed a slog off the left-arm pacer.
Ravi Bopara (42) and Ryan ten Doeschate (61) repaired the damage with a solid 97-run partnership that came at a quick pace as well with both batsmen dishing out positive strokes.
The two batsmen constantly took the attack to off-spinner Nathan Lyon (1-64) who had a match to forget with the ball.
Ten Doeschate batted with a lot of composure during his knock that included nine boundaries and a six in a display of fluid stroke play.
With Doeschate being the aggressor, Bopara dropped anchor, although he too did have his moments of aggression mostly against the off-spinner.
Just when the partnership had started to assume dangerous proportions, Starc once again provided Australia with the timely breakthrough as he got one to tail into Bopara to rap him on the pads.
Starc ensured that the momentum shifted Australia’s way when he sent wicket-keeper batsman James Foster (0) packing.
Ten Doeschate continued to battle on having completed his half-century and held one end up to ignite hopes of salvaging a draw for Essex.
However, Hazlewood had other ideas as he came back into the attack to inflict a triple strike that all but sealed the game for Australia.
Matt Salisbury (8) nicked a perfectly pitched away swinger to be caught behind off Hazlewood who then struck the major blow removing the well-set Doeschate.
James Porter (0) lasted just the one ball before making his way back to the pavilion as Essex lost five wickets for just 34 runs.
Lyon, who had endured a terrible time throughout the game, got a consolation wicket of Aron Nijjar (15) who presented a simple catch to Chris Rogers.
As well as Westley, Nicholas Browne also didn’t come out to bat due to injury which signified the end of the Essex innings.
The big win means that Australia head into the Ashes series on a high after winning both their tour games comprehensively.
The first Test of the Ashes series kicks off on Wednesday in Cardiff.
© Cricket World 2015