White stuff sees Australia to victory

Cameron White's century helped Australia out of a tricky situation as they beat Middlesex by five wickets at Lord's on Saturday.

updated: June 20, 2010 15:26 IST
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Cameron White's century helped Australia out of a tricky situation as they beat Middlesex by five wickets at Lord's here on Saturday in their final match before a one-day series against England.

The tourists, chasing 274 for victory, slumped to 64 for four against a Middlesex side captained by former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

But a stand of 176 between White and Michael Hussey (72 not out), who performed an even more dramatic rescue mission in Australia's astounding World Twenty20 semi-final win over Pakistan, saw their side recover and win with 13 balls to spare.

Australia now head to the Rose Bowl where they face England, the team that beat them in the World Twenty20 final in Barbados last month, in the first of five One-Day Internationals on Tuesday.

Earlier, Owais Shah gave England's selectors a reminder of his ability with 92 and Scott Newman made an unbeaten 55 as Middlesex posted 273 for five after Gilchrist won the toss.

Left-arm quick Doug Bollinger was the pick of Australia's attack with three wickets for 24 runs in eight overs.

White reached his century, off 114 balls, in style when he swept left-arm spinner Tom Smith for six.

But he became one of several wickets for seamer Tim Murtagh (three for 43) when he miscued a drive and Newman, running back at mid-on, took a fine catch.

Left-hander Hussey faced 99 balls with six fours and Steven Smith was unbeaten on 28 at stumps.

Australia lost their first wicket in unusual fashion when Murtagh dropped a one-handed caught and bowled chance off Shane Watson only to deflect the ball onto the stumps and run out non-striker Tim Paine, in the Gilchrist role of opener/wicketkeeper, for 10.

David Warner, Middlesex's 'other' Australian, then ran out Twenty20 opening partner Shane Watson (24) with a direct hit from backward point.

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke was plumb lbw to Murtagh for nought before skipper and star batsman Ricky Ponting (17) fell the same away as he was pinned in front, going across his stumps.

The 31-year-old Shah, a veteran of 71 One-Day Internationals, has not been selected for the Australia series.

But, in overcast conditions, he faced 123 balls with a six and eight fours before, eight short of a century, he lofted Clint McKay to wide long-on where Bollinger held a well-judged catch.

There were 13 Australians on the field at the start of the match as Gilchrist opened alongside Warner.

However, Warner was out in the first over, caught by Paine off Bollinger.

Gilchrist, who retired from the international scene two years ago, looked in excellent touch as he made 38 with the pick of the left-hander's shots a sweetly-struck straight driven six off Watson.

But the medium-pacer had his revenge when Gilchrist, trying to flick him on the onside, skied a catch to Hussey at deep square leg.