Ashes: Australia make good start in pursuit of 260 against Somerset
Last Updated: 29/06/13 11:05am
Australia reached 36-0 in pursuit of a victory target of 260 on day three of their tour match against Somerset at Taunton.
Openers Ed Cowan (14no) and Usman Khawaja (18no) launched the run chase before bad light ended play four overs early, leaving Australia needing a further 224 runs on the final day.
Australia bowlers James Pattinson (3-61) and Nathan Lyon (3-73) had earlier each claimed three wickets as Somerset were all out for 260 in their second innings.
Nick Compton and Marcus Trescothick put on 68 in good time for the opening wicket but Trescothick's exit, caught behind off paceman Pattinson for 32, was the start of a collapse to 87-3.
Compton, who looks set to be dropped by England for the Ashes opener, went lbw to off-spinner Lyon having hit seven fours in his 34 - to go with his 81 in the first innings.
The right-hander will face the same bowlers again next week when he guests for Worcestershire, a final chance for him to convince the selectors that he - and not Joe Root - is the best option as England captain Alastair Cook's opening partner for the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge on July 10-14.
James Hildreth (75) and Peter Trego (60) were the only members of Somerset's middle and lower order to offer much resistance.
Wickets kept falling regularly, every bowler tried by Australia skipper Michael Clarke making at least one breakthrough.
Phil Hughes was left on 76 not out when Australia declared their first innings at 321-5 - lead of one - in the morning session.
On 266-4 overnight, the tourists lost Brad Haddin to the first ball of the day, caught behind off teenage seamer Jamie Overton.
Hughes and James Faulkner (22no) shared a sixth-wicket stand of 55 in 13 overs before the declaration came.