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Moore grateful to selectors

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Stephen Moore saluted the England selectors for keeping faith in his ability after scoring a century against Australia on his home ground.

The Worcestershire opener had not expected to retain his spot after a dismal start to the current campaign - a sharp contrast to 2008 when he was the highest scorer in the country with first-class 1,451 runs.

But he was given another opportunity for the Lions against Ricky Ponting’s side and responded by reaching 120 off 176 balls at New Road before becoming one of Brett Lee’s five victims.

Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore repaid the selectors' faith in the best possible way, hitting a fine 120

Moore hit 18 fours and two sixes on his way to his first hundred since the final LV= County Championship match of last season against Middlesex at Kidderminster.

The 28-year-old said: “I was really privileged to be picked and play (against New Zealand) in the winter for the Lions after a good summer. I learnt a lot from that.

“Although I didn’t set the world alight, and not make the kind of big statement I wanted to make, I didn’t let myself down either. I felt like I held my own, gained a bit of confidence.

“But for this game I was surprised to be called up because I’ve always been an advocate of picking people on form.

“I was hoping to have a great start to this season but didn’t get it but I have managed to score some runs of late.

“The couple of fifties against Yorkshire and some runs in the Twenty20 probably just tipped things in my favour. I thank the selectors for keeping faith in me.

“To have that confidence from the selectors, and the England coaching staff in me, to give me an extended run in the England set-up is fantastic.

Brett Lee

Brett Lee affirmed his return to fitness with a devastating blast of swing and pace, ending with figures of 5-53 at Worcester today

“Now to get this hundred is brilliant and I couldn’t have picked a better place to get the first one of the season.”

Australia paceman Brett Lee staked a massive claim to be part of the side for the first Ashes Test with a devastating spell.

He took 5-53 in stifling heat, with all five of his wickets coming in a nine-over period either side of tea.

Lee found pace and swing and believes he has a double role to play for his side when the Ashes series gets under way.

He said: “I see myself having two roles. It is my job to get early wickets and, if that doesn't happen, then it is my role to come back with the older ball.

“The plan here was to scuff the ball up in the middle overs when it was not doing much, to try and replicate the conditions we will get in Cardiff.

“Once we had done that, once the ball started reverse swinging, I felt at my most deadliest.

“They were 170 without loss but we knew one breakthrough could turn it around and have a snowball effect in terms of wickets going down.”

Lee is hoping to have made sure of his place in the Australia side for the first Test after recovering from ankle surgery.

He said: “I have tried to do everything possible to make sure I am ready for the first Test but I have not been looking to put pressure on myself.

“I know if I bowl well and take wickets, I will be putting my hand up to be chosen for the first Test.

“I have worked very hard to get myself ready. If things don't happen for the first Test, then I will find a way around it and be ready for the second Test.”

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