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Five for Blackwell
IAN Blackwell continued to push his claims for a championship recall this morning, picking up five wickets as Australia A slipped from 99 without loss to 168 for seven at lunch, still needing 56 to win.
They lost five wickets for 24 runs before George Bailey, who has captained Australia’s Twenty20 team, revived them by making 36.
But he became the first of two victims in two balls for Blackwell in the penultimate over before lunch. Mitchell Starc drove the hat-trick ball for a straight four, leaving the spinner with five for 36 after bowling all morning.
After bowling two overs for 22 runs yesterday evening, Mitch Claydon opened up with two maidens, although there were plenty of balls the batsmen could leave alone.
Left-hander Ed Cowan then ran him to third man for four and drove a second boundary through the covers as he began to dominate the scoring.
He was also more comfortable than the right-handers against Blackwell, sweeping him to the boundary and also turning him behind square for four off the back foot, perfectly bisecting two fielders.
Liam Davis, on 36 overnight, reached 50 off 64 balls through four overthrows, courtesy of Ben Stokes’ shy from backward point.
The tourists had added 41 in nine overs when Ruel Brathwaite replaced Claydon and in his second over had Cowan caught at mid-wicket by Mark Wood for 40.
Brathwaite struck again when Michael Klinger edged a drive to Michael Richardson, but the paceman then proceeded to bowl erratically.
Blackwell picked up wickets in three successive overs, starting when he turned one to have Peter Forrest caught at slip by Gordon Muchall .
He then had Davis lbw for 62 and Tom Cooper caught behind when trying to cut.
Bailey had made 24 when he sliced successive fours off Stokes, the first of which might have been caught at gully had Johann Myburgh been more alert.
Bailey departed to another turning ball, edging it via Richardson’s gloves to Stokes at second slip, and Nathan Coulter-Nile was caught off bat and pad at short leg off the next ball.