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Australia 'A' dig in against Ireland at Stormont

Steve Smith: Potential Ashes starter

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An Australia 'A' side that includes a number of likely Ashes starters were thankful for a seventh-wicket stand between Steve Smith and James Pattinson, as they fought back against Ireland in Belfast.

The Australian side, featuring five-day vice-captain Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon and Pattinson, as well as Test hopefuls Usman Khawaja, Fawad Ahmed and Smith, closed a rain-affected day one of a four-day game on 248-6.

That was thanks largely to a 109-run partnership between all-rounder Smith (104 not out) and Pattinson (42 not out), who rescued the situation after the top order had struggled.

Nic Maddinson went for six - one of Max Sorenson's four scalps - while Khawaja was cleaned up for a five-ball duck.

Alex Doolan did make 40 but Haddin's two and Peter Siddle's duck meant trouble was brewing.

Moses Henriques made 47 to steady things, though, with Smith and Pattinson then easing the pressure before the rain came.

Is Australia's Test squad capable of winning back the Ashes?

  • Yes
  • No

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