Watson Leads Good Day With The Bat For Australia

Brad Haddin punches off the back foot
Watson Leads Good Day With The Bat For Australia
©REUTERS/Jason O'Brien. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Somerset 320 (Jones 130) v
Australians 266-4 (Watson 90)
Tour Match, Taunton, day two
Day One Report

Shane Watson made the most of the backing given to him by new coach Darren Lehmann to come close to hitting a century before lunch on the second day at Taunton. Returning to the top of Australia’s batting order, he struck a boundary-laden 90 off only 94 balls to set up a pleasing day with the bat for the tourists. Their charge was only brought to a halt by the arrival of rain which wiped out the entire evening session.

Ed Cowan did his cause of a first Test bow no good at all by making just three before being given out contentiously off the bowling of Gemaal Hussain. His hopes of a starting place at Trent Bridge have now receded considerably in the past 24 hours following Lehman’s guarantee to Watson and given the glut of other opening options in Australia’s Test squad.

Another man who didn’t exactly enhance his claims was Usman Khawaja, who was a little scratchy in making 27 before being caught off Craig Meschede. Meschede was the pick of the home side’s seamers and returned figures of two for 55 off 13 overs. Fast-man Jamie Overton was expensive (one for 81 off 13 overs) but did at least provide the Australian batsmen with the odd testing moment.

The return of Michael Clarke to the batting crease was another bright point for the tourists. He made 45 and was able to play second fiddle to Watson during a third-wicket stand of 69. Watson’s innings included 20 fours and finally came to an end shortly before lunch as he was caught by Peter Trego off Overton.

The final part of the day before tea was then filled by an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 54 between Phil Hughes and Brad Haddin. Hughes, who will be eying either the number three spot or a place in the middle-order for the first Test, ended unbeaten on 44, while Haddin, who looks to have seen off any challenge from Matthew Wade, is on 38.

© Cricket World 2013