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Australia see off Somerset

Usman Khawaja, Phil Hughes and Brad Haddin hit half-centuries as Australia eased to a six-wicket victory over Somerset in the tour game at Taunton.

Ed Cowan and Michael Clarke, who contributed 46 and 26 respectively, also spent useful time at the crease today in perfect batting conditions to help their side reach a target of 260 by mid-afternoon.

Khawaja top-scored with 73, while Hughes added 50 to his first-innings 76 not out and Haddin made a brisk, unbeaten 52.

Spinner George Dockrell hampered Australia with 3-78, but the outcome was never in doubt after the tourists began the day on 36 without loss.

Somerset's hopes of causing an upset were all but dashed when their strike bowler Jamie Overton was ruled out of the day's play by tendonitis in his right knee.

The strapping 19-year-old had earned the respect of the Australia batsmen with some sharp spells on the second and third days, and without him the home attack lacked venom.

Gemaal Hussain did his best in a nine-over spell at the start of the day from the River End and was rewarded in the eighth when Cowan aimed a back-foot forcing shot and edged through to wicketkeeper Alex Barrow.

The opener had looked untroubled in adding 32 to his overnight score and, at 86 for one, the visitors had laid the foundation for a morale-boosting victory.

Khawaja reached a solid half-century off 90 balls, with seven fours, and Hughes was soon repeating his impressive form of the first innings.

By lunch they had taken to score to 153 for one off 40 overs, leaving a further 107 required in the final two sessions.

After the interval Dockrell began to pose problems, bowling into the rough outside the left-handers' off stump.

In the 42nd over of the innings he had Hughes dropped on 38 at short-leg, and then found the outside edge of Khawaja's bat to claim a wicket through Marcus Trescothick's simple slip catch.

It was 162 for two and Khawaja had faced 116 balls, striking 10 fours. His departure brought in Australia skipper Clarke, eager to gain more time in the middle following his first-innings 45.

Hughes moved to fifty by dispatching Dockrell for six over long-off, the over after Clarke had cleared the ropes with a top-edged pull off Hussain.

With a crowd of around 3,500 basking in glorious sunshine, it seemed just a question of when the tourists would reach their target as Clarke impressively got into his stride.

But Hughes was bowled, advancing down the pitch to Dockrell, and Clarke repeated the error, aiming a big drive to have his stumps disturbed by the Ireland left-arm spinner.

Haddin steadied things and then launched Dockrell for a straight six, followed by a swept four as the tourists closed in on victory.

It was achieved at 3:10pm when Haddin lofted Dockrell over midwicket for six to seal the win and also bring up his fifty off just 40 balls.

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