Worcestershire v Australia: Tourists enjoy productive first day
Shane Watson hit a century as Australia piled up the runs in their final Ashes warm-up match against Worcestershire.
Last Updated: 04/07/13 8:57am
Watson made 109 in 111 balls, while his opening partner Chris Rogers added 75 in a first-wicket stand of 170 to set up a first day stumps total of 340-4.
Watson's last international century came back in October 2010, while 35-year-old Rogers was making his Baggy Green comback after five years out of the team.
Ed Cowan, effectively auditioning for the number three slot, scored 58 and captain Michael Clarke also chipped in with 62, but all those runs must be viewed against the backdrop of a limited Worcestershire attack operating without leading wicket-taker Alan Richardson.
Watson started as he meant to go on, hitting the first of 14 fours from the first ball of the day - an inviting loosener from Chris Russell.
Watson's second six, a mighty straight hit off Jack Shantry, brought up the century stand - of which a becalmed Rogers had contributed just 30.
Watson raced through the nineties with three fours in five Russell deliveries and passed three figures before the lunch break when he turned his 94th ball into the onside.
Watson's day was ended when he slog-swept Moeen Ali down to fine leg, but Rogers and Cowan then added 37 before the former's stay ended tamely with a leading edge off Jack Shantry.
An early six for Cowan had seemed out of character and so it proved as he and Clarke began to be tied down by some tighter bowling.
At one stage the pair played out 38 dot balls in a row, only for a Clarke edge off Charles Morris to end the sequence.
Clarke occasionally flexed the injured back that kept him out of the Champions Trophy, but he cashed in on a tiring attack in the evening session to overtake Cowan and bring up his half-century with back-to-back fours off Shantry.
Cowan finally joined him on 50, from 106 balls, but a too-brave single saw Clarke run out soon afterwards.
Five overs later Cowan went the same way, Alexei Kervezee taking advantage of the batsman's slip to hit the stumps.
Steven Smith (21no) and Phil Hughes (10no) took over until rain arrived to bring an end to proceedings 9.1 overs early.