White ton leads Australia to win
Cameron White hit an assured century as Australia earned a five-wicket victory over a Middlesex side led by their legendary former opener Adam Glichrist at Lord's.
In their final warm-up game ahead of Tuesday’s NatWest Series opener against England at the Rose Bowl, the tourists recovered from 64 for four to coast to victory off the back of a fifth-wicket stand of 176 between White and Mike Hussey, who looked equally impressive in scoring 72 not out.
After losing the toss, the touring attack came up against two familiar faces in Middlesex opening pair David Warner and Gilchrist.
Free-hitting Warner would have been hoping to prove a point to the Australia selectors after he was overlooked for the current squad.
However, he perished in the opening over as bustling left-arm paceman Doug Bollinger had him caught behind for five.
Middlesex rebuilt, though, with Owais Shah sharing an entertaining stand of 67 with Gilchrist, before the Australian miscued Shane Watson to Hussey at square-leg in the 16th over, ending his 43-ball cameo, which included three fours and two sixes.
After losing Dawid Malan for two, Shah, well supported by Neil Dexter, steadied the ship with a watchful half-century from 79 balls.
Dexter soon departed on 45, though, edging Bollinger to wicketkeeper Tim Paine when trying to force a length ball through cover.
The irrepressible Bollinger, who picked up 3-24 from 10 overs, was soon in the action again, taking a catch on the run at long-on to remove Shah for 92 - preventing him from becoming the first Middlesex player to score a one-day hundred against a touring side.
Scott Newman was on hand to provide some much-needed late impetus, cracking a quickfire 55 to leave Australia needing a tricky 274 to win.
They made a brisk start through Watson and Paine in reply until the latter was unluckily run out when backing-up as Tim Murtagh tipped a possible caught and bowled chance onto the non-striker’s stumps.
Watson, who clattered three fours and a six in his 15-ball 23, then set off for a risky single to backward point only to be run out by a direct hit from his Twenty20 opening partner Warner to leave Australia
And their cause was hampered even further when Michael Clarke suffered his second successive duck as Murtagh trapped him leg before.
Australia continued to struggle against the impressive Murtagh and soon enough the 28-year-old picked up the prized-scalp of captain Ricky Ponting, who was also trapped in front after playing too far across the line to an off-cutter.
Australia took control after that, though, as White and Hussey combined in a clinical 33-over stand that left Gilchrist scratching his head.
Working the ball around with a modicum of effort, White hit eight fours and then swept a flat six into the Grandstand off spinner Tom Smith to reach an imperious 114-ball hundred.
With victory almost in his grasp the right-hander miscued a back-foot force into the hands of mid-on and departed to a standing ovation, leaving Hussey and youngster Steven Smith to finish the job with 13 balls to spare.