Chelmsford: England one-day international captain Alastair Cook was left with plenty to ponder on Tuesday after Australia warmed up for the upcoming limited overs series with a 179-run thrashing of his county side Essex. Australia captain Michael Clarke made 76 before retiring, while David Hussey scored 67 in a total of 313 for nine.
In reply, Essex -- with left-handed opener Cook and his England colleague Ravi Bopara in their side -- slumped to 134 all out with fast bowler Pat Cummins taking 3 for 26. Cook's hopes of getting a good look at the Australia attack ahead of Friday's first one-day international at Lord's were cut short when he was out for five in the fourth over when he edged a drive off Clint McKay to Clarke at first slip.
Bopara did rather better, striking six fours, until being caught behind off Shane Watson. Allrounder Watson and David Warner shared an opening stand of 51 in just under seven overs before they exited for 33 and 26 respectively. Warner struck Graham Napier to Ryan ten Doeschate at midwicket while Watson was the first of Reece Topley's four wickets when he was caught behind.
Clarke and Hussey, without hardly any risks at all, shared a stand of 137 in 20 overs.That ended only when Clarke, having faced balls with nine fours, decided to retire in order to give his team-mates more time in the middle. Hussey's innings of 67 off deliveries, including six fours, ended when he hit spinner Tim Phillips to Bopara at deep cover.Left-arm seamer Topley, son of former Essex cricketer Don Topley, took 4 for 46 from eight overs.