Australians make mark on Middlesex at Lord's
PUBLISHED: 19:29 09 June 2018
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Australia wrapped up their preparations for the one-day international series with England by beating Middlesex by 101 runs at Lord's.
The tourists face Eoin Morgan’s top-ranked side in a five-match contest, which begins at the Kia Oval on Wednesday, and followed up a win over Sussex in midweek with more success at Lord’s.
Travis Head scored 106, his fifth List A century, and Aaron Finch made a big-hitting 54 as Australia posted 283-6 from their 50 overs.
Early wickets cost Middlesex any real hope of chasing that down, with Max Holden’s run-a-ball 71 the best to show from their 182 all out.
Kane Richardson finished with figures of three for 31 with Michael Neser and Billy Stanlake picking up two wickets apiece.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat, but it was Middlesex who enjoyed an early celebration as Nathan Sowter pulled off a spectacular one-handed catch to get rid of D’Arcy Short for 18.
That brought Head and Shaun Marsh together and they went about laying the foundations of their side’s innings, putting on 114 off 25.4 overs.
Marsh fell one short of a half-century, sending a simple catch to Steven Finn off the bowling of Holden, while Glenn Maxwell was trapped in front by Ravi Patel soon after.
Head carried on enjoying himself and went to his century off 133 balls, which included nine fours.
His diligence allowed Finch to free his arms at the other end, with the right-hander cracking three sixes and two fours in his 52-ball 54.
Ashton Agar also had some late fun, finishing 20 not out, as Australia reached their commanding score.
Middlesex reached 48 without loss before three wickets in quick succession swung the game in the way of the tourists.
Neser caught and bowled Nick Gubbins for 18, Stevie Eskinazi was snared by Agar for two, the same score George Scott was on when he was bowled by Stanlake.
Holden was batting untroubled at the other end, going to a 52-ball half-century and in combination with Hilton Cartwright began to repair the innings.
The pair put on 61, with Cartwright, who has played two ODIs for Australia, reaching 31 before he sent a catch down long-on’s throat off Short’s bowling.
And when Holden’s fun ended, Stanlake having him caught, Middlesex were staring down the barrel.
A steady stream of wickets fell thereafter as Jhye Richardson picked up Robbie White, Neser had Sowter caught in the deep, Richardson dismissed James Franklin for 32 and then Patel two balls later.
Richardson finished it off, having Barber caught behind, as Middlesex were bowled out in the 41st over.