Mitchell Marsh, Tony Palladino shine as match ends in draw
Australians 413-9 dec & 95-1 dec (Clarke 44 no)
Derbyshire 259 (Palladino 82)
Tour Match, Derby
A counter-attacking half-century from Tony Palladino and a four-wicket haul from Mitchell Marsh were the highlights of the final day's play as the tour game between Australia and Derbyshire culminated in a tame draw in Derby.
Starting the day at 81 for two after rain had washed out most of the second day’s play, Derbyshire lost Scott Elstone (19) before lunch as Marsh (4-41) got his first victim of the innings.
Marsh struck again in the same over as he removed the other overnight batsman Wayne Madsen (18) as well to leave Derbyshire tottering at 95 for four.
Marsh continued to pick wickets at regular intervals and was supported ably by the wily Peter Siddle (1-35) and leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (3-68) as the Derbyshire batsmen lost the plot completely.
At 129 for seven, a follow-on looked very likely but Palladino (82) had other ideas as he launched a scathing attack against the Australian bowlers.
Fawad was the main target for Palladino as the latter waded into the leg-spinner clobbering him for a six and a boundary in an over to gather momentum into his innings.
Palladino then smashed the leggie for consecutive sixes followed by a boundary before hammering Shane Watson (1-30) twice for consecutive boundaries.
It was clean hitting from Palladino as he put on a 105-run partnership with David Wainwright (38) to push Derbyshire past the follow-on score.
Palladino’s explosive knock came off just 68 delivers with eight fours and four sixes, while Wainwright played second fiddle in the partnership.
It had to be Marsh to break the partnership as the all-rounder had Wainwright caught by skipper Michael Clarke after the batsman had played a gritty knock.
Fawad then got into the act and cleaned up the final two Derbyshire wickets without much fuss as the hosts folded up for 259.
With a lead of 154 but not much time left on the final day, Australia’s batsmen decided to have a final hit in the middle before the next Ashes Test.
Clarke (44 not out) promoted himself to open the batting with Shaun Marsh (30) as the pair put on a half-century partnership.
Marsh looked at ease during his brief stay in the middle as he stroked six sumptuous boundaries before retiring out.
Having been in poor form of late, Clarke decided to spend time in the middle as he batted for over an hour and a half without much problems finding the fence on eight occasions as well.
The other out-of-form batsman Adam Voges (16 not out) was promoted to number three and he too battled it out to gain some confidence after having had a poor run of scores in the first two Ashes Tests.
With the score on 95 for one, the two captains decided to shake hands and agree to a draw as it was an inevitable result especially with the weather playing spoilsport on the second day.
© Cricket World 2015