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Somerset v Australia: Shane Watson and michael Clarke looking good at Taunton

Shane Watson: Big-hitting knock for Australia

Skipper Michael Clarke back in action for Australia

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Shane Watson hit a promising 90 and skipper Michael Clarke saw some decent time in the middle as Australia made 266-4 on the second day of their tour match against Somerset.

Replying to the home side's 320, Watson smashed 20 fours in his innings, while Clarke returned to action with 45 and Phil Hughes and Brad Haddin also got starts of 44 and 38 not out before rain ended play for the day just before tea.

Watson, already pencilled in to open in the Ashes Series, made his runs off just 94 balls, with a boundaries all around the wicket, primarily off the front foot.

Craig Meschede was Somerset's most successful bowler with 2-55, while there were some fiery deliveries from teenaged seamer Jamie Overton, who ultimately proved expensive with 1-81 from 13 overs.

The Australians began the day on two without loss and suffered an early blow when Ed Cowan was caught behind off Gemaal Hussain for three.

It was 78-2 when Usman Khawaja was comfortably caught at second slip by James Hildreth in Meschede's second over. The Somerset all-rounder is proving extremely handy with his medium fast seamers this season, topping the Yorkshire Bank 40 list with 20 victims.


Watson moved to his half-century with a single off Meschede in the 18th over with the total 94-2. He had faced 56 balls and hit 11 fours, the best a sweetly-timed straight drive off the same bowler that grazed the stumps on its way to the boundary.

The 32-year-old Queenslander continued to punish anything overpitched and looked on course for a century when getting a leading edge to Overton and offering a simple catch to Peter Trego at cover.

There was no sign that Clarke's innings was his first since the Third Test against India in March as the Aussie captain played fluently in the afternoon session, before he edged a drive off Meschede to wicketkeeper Alex Barrow.

Clarke had faced 95 balls and hit seven fours in an encouraging one hour and 50 minutes batting that showed no trace of his recent back problems.

From 212-4 in the 45th over, Hughes and Haddin batted with few alarms against a mainly seam attack, supplemented by the left-arm spin of George Dockrell, as Haddin hit two straight sixes off the young Irishman, while Hughes collected seven fours as they put together an unbroken stand of 54.

The rain came in at around 3.30pm and persisted throughout and beyond at early tea, forcing the umpires to abandon any prospect of further play at 5.30pm.

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