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Wed Apr 23 19:30:03 SAST 2014

Cakewalk for Australia at Chelmsford

TEAMtalk Media | 27 June, 2012 08:410 Comments
Essex v Australia
Michael Clarke of Australia plays down to long on during the tour match between Essex and Australia at Ford County Ground on June 26, 2012 in Chelmsford, England
Image by: Jan Kruger / Getty Images

Australia's last tour fixture before their ODI series against England proved an absolute synch in the face of Essex's inadequacies, with Michael Clarke, David Hussey and Pat Cummins starring in a 179-run victory.

Untroubled by Middlesex and the co-recipients of a washout with Ireland, the Australians would have wanted a stronger effort from Tuesday's opposition, but instead were allowed to steamroll through proceedings at Chelmsford.

Essex's attack wanted to strut their stuff against a batting order of the highest international calibre. They performed well enough in pieces, but couldn't string together the line of consistency required to trump the number one-ranked ODI team.

In years to come, though, 18-year-old seamer Reece Topley will remember fondly the day he clinched figures of four for 46 against Clarke and company.

The Aussies have done well to get most of their specialist batsmen to the crease for a substantial period this tour so far, and on Tuesday it was Clarke and Hussey to weigh in with 76 not out and 67 respectively.

Each of the top eight made it to double figures, and only George Bailey's dozen will be considered the marginal failure at the end of the outing. The Twenty20 captain seemed rather out of place at three in the order.

The visitors' final total of 313 for nine was admittedly intimidating but, with England batsmen Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara in their ranks, Essex weren't about to consider going down without a fight.

Their ambition, however, amounted to very little - 134 all out in 32.4 overs - in the end. Cook managed just five, while Bopara's 39 was a laboured affair.

Teenage speedster Cummins enjoyed further tutelage from the veteran Brett Lee, with the young ace finishing the pick of the Australian bowlers thanks to a haul of three for 26. Spinner Xavier Doherty, meanwhile, offered the selectors food for thought on the back of two for 38 after failing to secure a national contract recently.

The first ODI of five gets underway at Lord's on Friday.

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Cakewalk for Australia at Chelmsford

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