Worcester deny Australia morale-boosting pre-Ashes win

Monday, 8 July 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Australia were left frustrated in their final warm-up game before next week’s Ashes test opener with England, failing to beat Worcestershire as the match ended in a tame draw on Friday. Australia, needing nine more wickets on the fourth and final day, had set Worcester an almost impossible target of 457 and the county side easily held out, largely due to 19-year-old Tom Fell’s unbeaten 62 in their closing 274 for 5. Pace bowlers Ryan Harris and James Faulkner took two wickets each for the tourists who had looked odds-on to win after the home side were reduced to 144-4 at the County Ground. But they were denied a morale-boosting victory as the benign New Road pitch helped Worcester to hold out thanks to other good knocks from skipper Daryl Mitchell with 54 and Matt Pardoe (57). Aussie batsman Ed Cowan was hit on the back of the head during the afternoon session when Mitchell whacked a short ball from leg-spinner Steven Smith into him but Cowan continued after treatment and did not have to leave the field. With England, who beat Essex earlier this week, and Australia having finished their warm-ups attention now turns to Trent Bridge, Nottingham, where the first test gets underway on 10 July.