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Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Sunday, 22 February 2009

North stakes claim for Test place

Marcus North
Marcus North has played for four English county sides

Uncapped Marcus North produced a strong all-round display to stake his claim for a place in Australia's side for the first Test against South Africa.

The 29-year-old took a career-best 6-69 with his off-spin and made two unbeaten half centuries as Australia drew with a South African Board President's XI.

North said: "There's no certainty but my performance won't do me any harm."

The first Test starts on Thursday in Johannesburg, with Australia seeking to avenge a rare home series defeat.

Ricky Ponting's side conceded 403-7 in the first innings against the Board XI in Potchefstroom, before declaring their own first innings on 360-4.

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They then bowled out the home side for 182 in the second innings and opted for batting practice instead of pushing for the 226-run victory target on the third and final day.

North, who has signed to play for Hampshire for part of next season, was touted to be competing with Andrew McDonald for the all-rounder's spot in the Test side.

Leg-spinner Bryce McGain struggled in the first innings and, along with pace bowler Peter Siddle, did not take to the field in the second innings because of a stomach illness.

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see also
Hampshire snap up batsman North
15 Jan 09 |  Hampshire
Hughes named in Aussie tour squad
05 Feb 09 |  Australia
Prince left out of S Africa squad
11 Feb 09 |  South Africa
Smith ready to take on Australia
06 Feb 09 |  South Africa
Australia secure consolation win
07 Jan 09 |  Cricket
Duminy fightback stuns Australia
28 Dec 08 |  Cricket
Australia in South Africa 2009
09 May 08 |  Cricket


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