Tour match, Canterbury (day one):
Australia 340-9 dec v England Lions 23-0
Gloucestershire's Steve Kirby's appeal against Watson is turned down
Opener Shane Watson hit a sparkling 95 as Australia took control of day one of their tour match against England Lions.
The all-rounder shared a 87-run third-wicket stand with Mike Hussey, who hit a confidence-boosting 65 as Australia declared on 340-9 at Canterbury.
Spinner Gary Keedy (3-70) impressed for the Lions, with James Harris and Chris Woakes each taking two wickets.
The Lions, without Jonathan Trott after he was withdrawn from the team on Friday, finished the day on 23-0.
The Warwickshire batsman now looks set to replace Ravi Bopara for the deciding fifth Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval, which begins on 20 August, when the England squad is announced at 0930 BST on Sunday.
"It was felt that Jonathan has spent a lot of time at the crease for Warwickshire in the past week, including scoring a century against Nottinghamshire," said an ECB spokesman.
While Yorkshire's Jo Sayers replaced Trott, the tourists took the opportunity to rest batsman Michael Clarke, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and seamer Ben Hilfenhaus for the two-day game.
Lions captain Jamie Dalrymple elected to field after winning the toss and was immediately rewarded with the wicket of opener Simon Katich, who hit a short ball straight to Michael Carberry at cover for the first of four catches.
Skipper Ricky Ponting joined Watson at the crease, adding 45 fluent runs, including four boundaries off a Liam Plunkett over.
His innings came to an end when he nicked a faint edge to wicketkeeper Steve Davies attempting to pull a short leg-side ball from Woakes.
However, Watson, who has scored three successive half centuries since his promotion into the Test side at Edgbaston, continued to impressive with a series of expansive strokes, reaching 92 at lunch as Australia scored 163-2 in just 29 overs.
The Queenslander's 85-ball innings ended soon after the interval, when he edged Plunkett to Davies as he pressed for three figures.
Hussey continued to compile a patient innings as wickets began to tumble at the other end, although late resistance from Peter Siddle and Nathan Hauritz, who hit an unbeaten 34, added a further 40 runs as Australia declared on 340-9 from 81 overs.
With nine testing overs to negotiate before stumps, openers Stephen Moore (19 not out), who scored a century for the Lions against the tourists last month, and Sayers (three not out) successfully guided the home side to the end of day's play without loss.
England Lions: Jamie Dalrymple, capt (Glamorgan), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Stephen Moore (Worcestershire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Andrew Gale (Yorkshire), Stephen Davies (Worcestershire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), James Harris (Glamorgan), Steve Kirby (Gloucestershire), Gary Keedy (Lancashire).
Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Mike Hussey, Marcus North, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Chris Hartley (wk), Stuart Clark, Peter Siddle.