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Page last updated at 17:58 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 18:58 UK

Hopkinson ton frustrates Aussies

Day four: Australia 349-7 & 379-7 drew with Sussex 311 & 373-7

Sussex's Carl Hopkinson celebrates his ton
Hopkinson faced 138 balls in his 115, claiming 14 fours and three sixes

Australia were denied a confidence-boosting win ahead of the Ashes series as Carl Hopkinson earned a draw for Sussex in the tour match at Hove.

Hopkinson claimed the only century of the match as Sussex made a decent attempt of chasing the 418 off 92 overs they needed for victory.

The 27-year-old eventually fell to Ben Hilfenhaus for 115.

The home side refused to throw in the towel after his dismissal but they ended up short, closing on 373-7.

Sussex started well as they chased their target, Mike Yardy and Chris Nash putting on 87 runs in 24 overs.

Yardy raced to his 50 off just 55 balls with 10 boundaries and Nash was just starting to accelerate when he sliced a drive to backward point off Peter Siddle for 27.

By lunch Australia skipper Ricky Ponting was using both of his spinners on the dry, turning pitch and it was Marcus North who claimed the wicket of Yardy - who reached 67 before pushing the ball to Michael Clarke at slip.


Paceman Brett Lee struggled with over-stepping but he did remove Rory Hamilton-Brown leg before for one while Hopkinson hit his 50 with his third six off North.

Sussex began the final session needing 181 but Hopkinson and Luke Wright continued to attack in a stand of 81 in 13 overs.

The mark is a new fifth-wicket Sussex record in this fixture, beating the 72 put on by Tony Greig and Peter Kirsten in 1975.

Hopkinson was spared on 69 when Ponting dropped a straightforward catch off Hauritz but the spinner finally took his first wicket in the next over when Wright deflected a glance onto leg stump.

Hopkinson, who has not played a Championship game for the county this season, reached his hundred by coming down the pitch to drive North through the leg side for his 12th four and was eventually caught behind trying to run a delivery from Hilfenhaus down to third man.

The first Ashes Test between England and Australia begins in Cardiff on 8 July.

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see also
Hughes and Clarke punish Sussex
26 Jun 09 |  Australia
Lee and Clark stake Test claims
25 Jun 09 |  Australia
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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