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Australia win by 179 runs

Essex vs Australia

Aussies in ominous form

Clarke and David Hussey both make half-centuries

Australia celebrate a wicket for Steven Smith

Brett Lee and Shane Watson talk bowling tactics

Australia warmed up for this week's NatWest Series with an emphatic 179-run win over an Essex side which included England skipper Alastair Cook.

Australia captain Michael Clarke and David Hussey both made half-centuries as Australia piled up 313-9.

Essex, with England duo Cook and Ravi Bopara in their ranks, were well off the pace in their reply and were all out for 134 in 32.4 overs, with Pat Cummins taking an impressive 3-26.

Cook's hopes of having a good look at Australia's bowling attack were ruined by Clint McKay in the fourth over of the Essex innings, as an intended drive was edged to Michael Clarke at first slip.

Bopara, also set to turn out in the first encounter at Lord's, fared better and struck six fours until dabbing an easy catch behind off Shane Watson.

James Foster defied Australia for 36 balls while making 41 containing six fours but the 19-year-old Cummins was to have him caught by Stephen Smith at backward point, with the rest of the Essex line-up folding meekly.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Australia's major batsmen all managed to get among the runs before Friday's duel against the old enemy.

Watson and David Warner produced an opening stand of 51 in just under seven overs before they departed for 33 and 26 respectively.

Warner drilled Graham Napier to Ryan ten Doeschate at midwicket while Watson was the first of Reece Topley's four victims when he was caught behind.

Backbone

But it was skipper Clarke and Hussey who provided the backbone of the innings without looking in the slightest trouble.

Eschewing any risks, they found the gaps with ease while putting together a partnership of 137 in 20 overs.

That ended only when Clarke, having struck 76 in 73 balls with the aid of nine fours, decided to retire out to give others a taste of action out in the middle.

Hussey's innings of 67 from 66 deliveries, six of which he hit for fours, ended when he despatched left-arm spinner Tim Phillips to Bopara at deep cover, a dismissal that paved the way for Matthew Wade to inflict further punishment on Essex's toiling bowlers.

He helped himself to 47 from 43 balls, Napier finally bringing his innings to an end when Foster took a huge skier running towards square-leg.

Topley, the young left-arm pacemen, picked up four for 46 from eight overs to emerge as Essex's most successful bowler while Napier and Phillips each claimed two wickets.

The first ODI of the five-match series is on Friday at Lord's.

Match Details

Date
26th - 28th Jun 2012
Toss
Australia won the toss and elected to bat.
Venue
The Ford County Ground
Umpires
N G B Cook and D J Millns

essex BATTING CARD

Batsman R
Pettini c P.J. Cummins b Lee 1
Cook c Clarke b C.J. McKay 5
Westley b P.J. Cummins 4
Bopara c Watson 39
ten Doeschate run out 15
Foster c Smith b P.J. Cummins 41
Smith b P.J. Cummins 2
Napier lbw b Doherty 8
Phillips run out 10
Topley b Doherty 2
T.S. Mills not out 2
Extras 4nb, 1lb 5
Total All Out, 32.4 Overs 134
Full Batting Card

australia BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Lee 6.4 1 16 1
C.J. McKay 5 1 27 1
P.J. Cummins 7 0 26 3
Watson 6 1 26 1
Doherty 8 1 38 2
Full Bowling Card