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Shah strikes as Bollinger sparkles for Australia



Owais Shah © AFP

Owais Shah gave England a reminder of his ability with 92 as a Middlesex side led by Adam Gilchrist made 273 for five against Australia in a one-day tour match at Lord's here on Saturday.

Left-arm quick Doug Bollinger was the pick of Australia's attack with three wickets for 24 runs in eight overs after wicketkeeping great turned Middlesex captain Gilchrist won the toss.

But the rest of the attack all conceded over 40 runs apiece, with pacemen Clint McKay (one for 60 off 10) and Ryan Harris (none for 47 off nine) especially expensive.

Scott Newman bolstered Middlesex's total with a 38-ball fifty, featuring two sixes and three fours, on his way to 55 not out.

This was Australia's last fixture before they begin a five-match one-day series against England at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.

It is a series for which the 31-year-old Shah, a veteran of 71 one-day internationals for England, has not been selected.

But, in overcast conditions, he faced 123 balls with a six and eight fours before, eight short of a century, he lofted McKay to wide long-on where Bollinger held a well-judged catch.

There were 13 Australians on the field at the start of the match as Gilchrist opened alongside Twenty20 international David Warner.

However, Warner was out in the first over, caught by wicketkeeper Tim Paine off Bollinger.

Gilchrist then backed up the words of Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who told reporters on Friday his former team-mate could still be playing international cricket.

The left-hander, who retired from the international scene two years ago, looked in excellent touch as he made 38 with the pick of his shots a sweetly-struck straight driven six off all-rounder Shane Watson.

But the medium-pacer had his revenge when Gilchrist, trying to flick him on the onside, skied a catch to Michael Hussey at deep square leg to leave Middlesex 73 for two and end a stand worth 67 with Shah.

Bollinger then struck again when Dawid Malan fell in similar fashion to Gilchrist, only this time Paine made good ground to hold the catch.

Shah, together with Neil Dexter (45), put on 88 before the latter was caught behind off Bollinger.

Shah, whose last one-day internationals was against Australia at Centurion during October's Champions Trophy in South Africa, then showed his class with a cover-drive boundary off fast bowler Ryan Harris.

Left-hander Newman upped the tempo by sweeping off-spinner Nathan Hauritz for six before a superb lofted off-drive six off Watson in the final over took him to fifty.

© AFP
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