More runs for Watson
Aussies still finding runs easy as they face England Lions
Last Updated: August 16, 2009 5:48pm
Watson: Good form
Australia 340-9 dec (S R Watson 95, M E K Hussey 65) v England Lions 23-0
Shane Watson maintained his fine form with a swashbuckling 95 as Australia piled on the runs against England Lions at Canterbury.
With Jonathan Trott rested in anticipation of his inclusion in the fifth Test squad for the Oval, it was the Austrlian batsmen who stole the show in front of a big 5,000 crowd.
Watson played superbly as he smashed 95 from just 85 balls as Australia made 340-9 before declaring and giving their bowlers nine overs at England before the close.
Michael Hussey joined Watson in an 87-run partnership, while skipper Ricky Ponting was the other major scorer with 45.
In Australia's only fixture between the fourth and fifth Tests, seven of the side likely to play in the Ashes decider at the Oval were included, plus Nathan Hauritz and Stuart Clark who are expected to fight it out for the final bowling place next Thursday.
Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Ben Hilfenhaus were the only three frontline Australians rested, as Australia were asked to bat first by Lions captain Jamie Dalrymple.
Australia lost the early wicket of Simon Katich - who hit a short ball straight to cover in the second over - before threatening to run the Lions' bowling attack ragged.
Ricky Ponting was tested by a tricky new ball spell by Steve Kirby, but then settled in for his 61-ball 45 as he and Watson added 74 in 15 overs.
The Lions were fortunate, too, with the manner of Ponting's dismissal, with the Aussie captain unluckily getting a faint touch to an attempted pull at a short legside ball from Chris Woakes.
Hussey, however, came in to help Watson to add a further 87 for the third wicket and the Australians went into lunch at 163 for two from just 29 overs.
Watson, on 92 at lunch, had scored only three more runs when he drove firm-footed at Plunkett and edged behind. His fine array of strokes included a six, pulled off Woakes, and 15 fours.
Marcus North was brilliantly caught at point by Michael Carberry, one of four catches he took in the ring, as he slashed at Kirby and both Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee fell cheaply to Gary Keedy's teasing left-arm spin, chipping to mid-wicket and edging to slip respectively.
Hussey's 65 from 101 balls included 10 fours but the scoring rate slowed as the Lions battled back in the field and only 100 runs came in the afternoon session.
Carberry, at backward point, made his fourth catch look easy as Hussey thick-edged Woakes.
After some late resistance from Hauritz and Peter Siddle, who added 40 before the declaration, there were nine overs for Sayers and Stephen Moore to negotiate - which they did safely at 23 for no wicket.