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I needed this century - North

Investec Test Series

Steven Davies, Marcus North, Vikram Solanki & Adil Rashid

Marcus North advances down to hit Adil Rashid as he underlines his familiarity with English conditions

Marcus North is hoping to have cemented a place in the Australia side for the first npower Ashes Test after his century against England Lions at Worcester.

North had managed a combined total of only 13 runs in his previous three knocks, including only a single in the first innings at New Road.

But the Western Australia left-hander found his form with a vengeance in scoring an unbeaten 106 out of 276 for four - an overall lead of 282.

North is more than familiar with English conditions, having played for Derbyshire, Durham, Lancashire, Gloucestershire, and most recently, Hampshire.

He said: “There has been a bit of pressure building up in the last three innings and it was nice to get an opportunity to score some runs.

“Ricky Ponting pushed me up the order to number four today and it was an opportunity to get out there while the ball was still hard and to get a few rewards.

“With the Test match only around the corner, and myself not performing as well as I would have liked, it is a pretty important hundred for me.

“It is nice to spend a few hours in the middle leading up to Cardiff and hopefully that puts me at the front of selection.”

North shared in a century partnership with Michael Clarke on a slow wicket, and expects similar conditions in Wales next week.

“It was a bit difficult out there. The wicket was really slow and the ball got pretty soft," North added.

“But it was very similar to the conditions we expect in Cardiff and it was pretty good to get similar match practice in.

“It looks like there are going to be some grinding out hours during the Test match.

“It was nice to get tested today and hopefully it will stand us in good stead for next week.”

The only downside for Australia was another failure by opener Phillip Hughes, who was undone by a short delivery from Steve Harmison for the second time in the match.

But Mike Hussey has urged Hughes to continue to play his attacking game.

He said: “I think Phil will be fine. He plays with a lot of freedom and no fear. If he keeps a clear mind and plays his way, he will be effective.

“He has got to stick with what brings him success and he has been on the crest of a wave.”

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