Ponting pacemen lack the X factor, says on-song Shah

Middlesex 273-5 Australia 277-5 (Australia win by five wickets)

One of the split-innings proposals currently being discussed in Australia with regard to reforming one-day cricket amounts, essentially, to giving batsmen a second chance. Ridiculous, perhaps, but there were plenty of people in Lord's yesterday who would have liked to see Adam Gilchrist return to the crease.

Having struck Clint McKay and Shane Watson for glorious sixes, the former Australia wicketkeeper was threatening to wreak entertaining havoc among his countrymen when he top-edged Watson into the hands of Mike Hussey at deep square leg.

Gilchrist's demise, barely an hour into play and coming after David Warner was dismissed in Doug Bollinger's opening over, removed some of the edge from proceedings, but what followed may not have been entirely without consequence. Having been left out of England's squad for the NatWest series, Owais Shah took the opportunity to make something of a point by scoring a characteristic, wristy 92, an innings that will at least keep the 31-year-old's name in the selectors' minds should replacements be required.

They will also have noted, however, that on a good though not particularly fast track, this appeared to be a very ordinary Australian attack. Shah certainly did. "There wasn't the firepower around, they looked a little bit different to last summer," said the Middlesex batsman. "They definitely don't seem to have the X factor."

The absence through injury of Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle means Bollinger is very much the leader of Australia's pacemen, which, for those who remember a lonely figure toiling through an almost wicketless season for Worcestershire a couple of years ago, may cause a certain amount of bemusement. Bollinger cut a different figure then, in several respects. He was billiard-ball bald, for a start, but as well as now being impressively hirsute, he is a yard quicker and consistently accurate, neither of which virtues were remotely apparent in his time at New Road.

It makes you wonder what else they injected when they put in his new follicles. Whatever, Bollinger was comfortably the pick of the Australian bowlers here, troubling every batsman and picking up the wickets of Dawid Malan and Neil Dexter to go with that of Warner.

But while Bollinger's left-arm pace looked more than respectable, the same could not be said for Ryan Harris, McKay and Watson, all of whom came in for plenty of tap from Shah, Dexter and Scott Newman.

Neither, on a pitch that offered a measure of slow turn, did the spinners Nathan Hauritz and Steven Smith appear to trouble any of the batsmen as much as they might have done. Newman, whose unbeaten half-century came off 38 balls and included two sixes, had few problems middling the ball. James Hopes, who took 5 for 14 against Ireland, may have made a difference, but the all-rounder was rested.

If the bowling appeared to be under-strength, Australia's batting looks to be as strong as ever. Watson and Paine looked in excellent touch until the bowler Tim Murtagh deflected a hard-hit Watson drive on to the stumps with Paine stranded out of his ground.

Remarkably, Watson was then run out when Ricky Ponting called him through for a sharp single, Warner hitting the stumps with a throw from point, and when Michael Clarke was lbw for a duck, playing lazily across the line at Murtagh, Australia were 51 for 3.

Ponting's dismissal shortly afterwards added to their problems, the captain falling leg before on the back foot to Murtagh, but Cameron White and Hussey rebuilt the innings against bowling that, once the accurate Murtagh was out of the attack, offered little threat.

White went to his hundred off 114 balls, hitting eight fours and a six before holing out off Murtagh, but Hussey and Smith carried the tourists home with a comfortable 13 balls to spare.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn