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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Voices
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
voices
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living