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The Electronic Telegraph Warm-up match: Worcestershire v Australia
Peter Deeley at Worcester - 10 May 1999

Australians tuck in for openers

Australia (181-4) bt Worcs (162-7) by 6 wkts (Duckworth/Lewis method)

Australia wielded their bats in anger for the first time in over a fortnight yesterday, though they appear to have lost none of their edge in the ensuing period, completing this emphatic win with nearly 10 overs to spare.

The last time Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh opened the innings - in Barbados on April 25 against the West Indies - the Australians had to flee the field under a barrage of bottles. Now the only emergency was the SOS from the ladies' pavilion for more crockery - not for throwing, it has to be emphasised.

The Australians did not seem put out at having two Duckworth/Lewis targets to chase. The first was calculated at 186 off 44 overs after rain had interrupted the Worcestershire innings. Then the computer came up with a revised total needed of 178, though the scoreboards insisted it was 172.

Steve Waugh thinks this system is the best around - though he admits he cannot understand it. Neither did the crowd, who greeted the changes with a cry of something like ``rhubarb, rhubarb''.

Australia's win was almost ridiculously easy, hardly the kind of challenge they needed. Admittedly Graeme Hick was away on England duty and Tom Moody, for some reason, was not allowed to switch allegiances for the day.

There were some flaws in the visitors' make-up. They gave away 34 extras, Damien Fleming sending down nine wides, and some of the ground fielding was hardly razor-sharp. Then there was a minor batting collapse at the end, the highlight of which was the dismissal of the Australian captain for two by 20-year-old Duncan Catterall.

The Duke of Edinburgh was guest of honour at Worcestershire's official centenary game. He showed particular interest in Shane Warne's hands at the presentation to the teams and the leg-spinner went on to take two wickets.

His first came with his third ball, getting Paul Pollard leg before playing back to end a useful 47-run start by the home openers. Then Reuben Spiring, playing his first game in 18 months after knee operations, was stumped trying to sweep

The Australian opening pair attacked the bowling in such blistering fashion it was hardly surprising the announcer became tongue-tied when greeting their fifties, saying Gilchrist had hit ``four sevens''.

Gilchrist gave a hard chance before he scored, slashing Alamgir Sheriyar hard to point where Vikram Solanki failed to hold on. After that the fielders sometimes opted for discretion and a full set of fingers when the left-hander was hammering the ball with rare power.

Richard Illingworth eventually had Waugh caught in the deep for 64 off 67 balls after the first wicket had put on 127 in 24 overs. But Gilchrist wrought revenge on the spinner, lofting him twice into the crowd off successive balls. He was eventually leg before to David Leatherdale, scoring 86 off 94 balls.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk