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Page last updated at 19:03 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 20:03 UK

Lee and Clark stake Test claims

TOUR MATCH, Hove:
Day two: Australia 349-7 & 18-0 v Sussex 311


Aussie paceman Brett Lee in action against Sussex
Lee is determined to prove his worth to Australia

Brett Lee and Stuart Clark pressed cases for inclusion in the first Ashes Test, taking three wickets apiece as Australia dismissed Sussex for 311.

Australia declared on their overnight 349-7 and enjoyed immediate success as Sussex lost three wickets before lunch.

Wickets fell regularly until a seventh-wicket 86-run partnership between Robin Martin-Jenkins and Andrew Hodd.

The tourists, who are preparing for the first Test starting on 8 July in Cardiff, reached 18-0 before the close.

While Lee, who played the last of his 76 Tests in December, ended the day with figures of 3-53 from 13.2 overs and Clark took 3-46 from 15 overs, seamers Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle served a potent reminder of their threat.

However, the main disappointment for Australia on day two of the four-day match was the bowling of off-spinner Nathan Hauritz.

There is plenty of focus on Hauritz as Australia continue their search for a quality spinner since the retirement of Shane Warne, but his figures of 0-98 off 18 overs suggested that search still has a way to go.

TMS Blog
BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

His performance was compounded by part-time spinner Simon Katich, who snared Oli Rayner leg before after he missed an attempted sweep.

"I thought he was good in patches but didn't bowl as well as he would have liked in other patches, but that was generally the day of all our bowlers I think," said Australia coach Tim Nielsen.

"He won't be sitting back thinking it's all roses that's for certain."

Rayner was the penultimate wicket to fall as Sussex ended the day closer to Australia's first innings target than their start suggested.

The hosts lost skipper Michael Yardy early on after he padded up to a Hilfenhaus off-cutter.

Ed Joyce reached 15 before he was hurried by a short Siddle delivery, edging a hook shot to keeper Brad Haddin, who also caught a Carl Hopkinson edge off the same bowler before lunch.

Chris Nash, Luke Wright and Rory Hamilton-Brown showed some threatening signs but perished having all made starts.

Wicketkeeper Hodd's defiant 40 from 84 deliveries was made the more impressive after he shook off the effects of a Clark bouncer which struck his throat.

"It's not often you can say you have scrapped hard against a few of your boyhood heroes and I enjoyed it," said the 25-year-old.

We're certainly not going to panic because guys have not had the best days

Australia coach Tim Nielsen

"I got one right in the throat, I've got two Adam's apples at the moment. I played it like a hand grenade unfortunately and set myself up for quite a bit more short stuff."

The Sussex tail wagged to take them within 38 of Australia's total, aided by Australia's profligate 40 extras, including 22 no-balls.

"It was good for us to have to work hard through their lower order and they played pretty well," added Nielsen.

"As for the no-balls, shocking weren't they. We're pulling our hair out about them and it's the only thing I am a bit grumpy about.

"We don't bowl them in Twenty20, maybe because it's a free hit after, but we didn't have a bowler apart from Katich who didn't concede a no-ball.

"It's certainly something we've got to fix up and work at. Look, we've had our first roll since 15 March in a four-day game but we're certainly not going to panic because guys have not had the best days.

"When we sat down and tried to organise our tour that was exactly the reasoning behind having two tour games against counties.

"We wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to give all the players good quality playing time before the first Test came around to get any kinks out of the system and we started that process here."



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see also
Australia hit back against Sussex
24 Jun 09 |  Australia
Australia tour match photos
24 Jun 09 |  Australia
Injured Watson stays with Aussies
24 Jun 09 |  Australia
England omit Vaughan and Harmison
22 Jun 09 |  England
Australia exit ICC World Twenty20
08 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Aussies lick their wounds
30 Dec 08 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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