Shane Watson hits a century as Australia's batsmen enjoyed productive first day in final Ashes warm-up against Worcestershire

 

Worcester

These Australian tourists may not be of the finest vintage but they can still draw a crowd. Despite cold, blustery conditions, there were few empty seats here. It is a tradition, too, for the Australians to win this game with a bit of a swagger, which may well be the outcome this time.

Their dominance of the first day owed much to the immediate success enjoyed by Shane Watson with Chris Rogers at the top of the batting order, putting on 150 before lunch with hardly a hint they might be parted,  Watson’s brutal hitting balanced by the steady assuredness of his partner, whose anticipation of his first Test appearance for more than five years at Trent Bridge next week will be keener than ever.

Worcestershire’s bowling improved as the day unfolded but without Alan Richardson, who is rested, their attack is modest, nonetheless, with the debutant Charlie Morris taking the new ball. There was not much in the way of swing, but Watson was impressive enough, batting with the same gusto that the Somerset crowd witnessed last week. So far, so good for the new partnership. “Facing the quicker bowlers with the new ball is what I enjoy the most and a job I’m well equipped for now,” he said. “It was great to be able to bat with Chris, who has a lot of experience and was able to give me quite a few pointers at various times.  It was a good start and something we would hope to continue.”

Watson added his name to those of Don Bradman, Keith Miller and others in an illustrious roll call of Australian centurions on this ground in a mere 94 deliveries, seven minutes ahead of the first interval. He timed his shots sweetly, gathering 14 fours and twice clearing the rope, the first time with a clip over the mid-wicket boundary off Gareth Andrew before driving one into the top deck of the New Road stand off Jack Shantry.

There was no such extravagance from Rogers but Australia will expect none, demanding of him that he accumulates runs as he has for Middlesex, with authority but without fuss.  After Watson had been caught at deep square leg, sweeping the spinner, Moeen Ali, Rogers looked good to celebrate his re-incarnation with a hundred of his own but mistimed a ball from Shantry to be caught at extra cover, off a leading edge.

If their places are inked in, others have something to prove, not least Ed Cowan, replaced along with David Warner at the top of the order.  Given that Michael Clarke fills one slot and Phil Hughes probably booked another with his two half-centuries at Taunton, Cowan seems to have Warner, Usman Khawaja and perhaps Steve Smith to fight for such vacancies that may be left in the middle.

Warner remains suspended and Khawaja, who made 73 against Somerset, was left out. Cowan, with the experience of English conditions and Trent Bridge in particular after his stint with Nottinghamshire, reinforced his claim with a typically solid 58 before he was run out after slipping over in mid-run, an unfortunate end although one with a touch of karma given that his call for a tight single had run Clarke out.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine