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Watson sounds warning

Shane Watson sounded a warning to England by hammering 20 fours in a powerful innings of 90 for Australia on the second day of the tour match with Somerset at Taunton.

With skipper Michael Clarke, Phil Hughes and Brad Haddin also enjoying valuable time in the middle, the tourists ran up 266 for four in reply to the home side's 320 before rain ended play for the day just before tea.

Watson, already pencilled in to open in the Investec Ashes series, made his runs off just 94 balls, with boundaries all around the wicket, primarily off the front foot.

Craig Meschede was Somerset's most successful bowler with 2-55, while there were some fiery deliveries from teenage seamer Jamie Overton, who ultimately proved expensive with 1-81 from 13 overs.

Australia began the day on two without loss and suffered an early blow when Ed Cowan was caught behind off Gemaal Hussain for three.

Overton made Watson and Usman Khawaja hurry their shots on occasions, but Watson soon grew in stature and began peppering some short boundaries, taking advantage of a fast outfield.

It was 78 for two when Khawaja was comfortably caught at second slip by James Hildreth in Meschede's second over.

Watson moved to his half-century with a single off Meschede in the 18th over, with the total 94 for two. He had faced 56 balls and hit 11 fours, the best a sweetly-timed straight drive off the same bowler that grazed the stumps on its way to the boundary.

The 32-year-old Queenslander continued to punish anything overpitched and looked on course for a century when getting a leading edge to Overton and offering a simple catch to Peter Trego at cover.

There was then no sign that Clarke's innings was his first since the third Test against India in March as the captain played fluently in the afternoon session.

He was five short of a fifty when surprisingly edging a drive off Meschede and being caught by wicketkeeper Alex Barrow, diving to his right.

Meschede's first-class bowling record is not yet anything to boast about. But his maiden wicket was Sachin Tendulkar in a tour game against India two years and he now numbers Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Clarke among his 20 victims.

Clarke had faced 95 balls and hit seven fours in an encouraging one hour and 50 minutes batting that showed no trace of his recent back problems.

From 212 for four in the 45th over, Hughes and Haddin batted with few alarms against a mainly seam attack, supplemented by the left-arm spin of George Dockrell.

Haddin hit two straight sixes off the young Irishman, while Hughes collected seven fours as they put together an unbroken stand of 54.

The rain came in at around 3:30pm and persisted throughout and beyond at early tea, forcing the umpires to abandon any prospect of further play at 5:30pm.

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