Lehmann admits cobwebs remain

WICB President’s XI 382 and 161 for 4 (Chase 55, Dowrich 53*, Hazlewood 3-4) drew with the Australians 250 (Marsh 118, Voges 52, Brathwaite 3-39, Warrican 3-93) Scorecard

Josh Hazlewood enjoyed a useful workout on the final day © WICB Media/Adriel Richard

For an hour or so on the final day it appeared as though the WICB President’s XI would have the option of enforcing the follow-on against their better-known opposition, and there is little doubt that Michael Clarke and others would have been grateful for the extra hit.

As it was, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon were able to spend some time in the middle and advance the Australians as far as 250, before Hazlewood snipped the top off the local batting order in another impressive precursor for what can be expected of him in Dominica’s first Test.

Hazlewood’s breaks were unable to be exploited by the spin of Lyon and Fawad Ahmed however, leaving Clarke to call on a motley assortment of bowlers including Chris Rogers and Shaun Marsh – Mitchell Marsh even had a rare trundle as a wrist spinner before the game was called off an hour before the scheduled close.

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Shaun Marsh banks Test spot with century

Australians 205 for 6 (S Marsh 118*, Voges 52, Warrican 3-69) trail WICB President’s XI 382 (Dowrich 78, Chase 76, Chandrika 74) by 177 runs Scorecard

Shaun Marsh finished the day unbeaten on 118 © WICB Media/Adriel Richard

Shaun Marsh shored up his Test spot while a trio of more certain selections failed to spend much time in the middle as the Australian tourists were made to battle by the WICB President’s XI in Antigua.

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Fawad, Hazlewood take two each on day of toil

WICB President’s XI 288 for 5 (Dowrich 78, Chandrika 74, Chase 65*) v Australians Scorecard

Fawad Ahmed picked up 2 for 95 © West Indies Cricket Board

Given the fact their most recent Test match was in early January, it was perhaps understandable that Australia’s cricketers made a sluggish start against a doughty WICB President’s XI in Antigua.

Having lost the toss, the captain Michael Clarke watched on as a bowling attack missing Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc (rested) and Ryan Harris (at home with his newborn son) was unable to follow up on the trio of breakthroughs made in the first session of a steamy, rain-speckled day.

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Stokes bandwagon heads to Headingley

window.espni = window.espni || {}; espni.video = espni.video || {}; espni.video.timeStamp = “1432789293”; espni.video.genre = “index:pressconference”; espni.video.adSet = “cric”; Play 01:23 ‘Wherever he’s gone he’s had success’ – Root on Bayliss

With the two-Test series between England and New Zealand taking place over back-to-back weekends, the momentum from Lord’s could prove decisive. One player in particular was the catalyst for England’s dramatic come-from-behind victory and his name was again the focus as the teams moved to Headingley and began preparations for Friday.

Ben Stokes scored 92 and 101, in the process recording the fastest Test hundred at Lord’s, before taking three wickets on Monday afternoon to help seal a 124-run win. His Man-of-the-Match contribution was the most eye-catching among several impressive individual performances on either side and he will likely be the centre of attention once again when the second Test begins.

England had been reduced to 30 for 4 on the first morning at Lord’s, before a 161-run stand between Stokes and Joe Root helped them to a competitive first-innings total. Root, only a few months older than Stokes but already Alastair Cook’s vice-captain, said Stokes’ full-blooded commitment set the tone for the fightback that put England 1-0 up in the series and ignited their start to the international summer.

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Siddons appointed coach of South Australia

South Australia’s last Sheffield Shield-winning captain, Jamie Siddons, has returned to the state as head coach for the next three seasons. Siddons will fill the role vacated by Darren Berry, who parted ways with South Australia in March.

The third-leading run scorer of all time in the Sheffield Shield, Siddons captained South Australia in 69 matches and was in charge in 1995-96, when the state last won the Shield. Despite scoring 11,587 first-class runs at an average of 44.91, Siddons played only once for Australia, in an ODI against Pakistan in Lahore in 1988.

After his retirement, Siddons started his coaching career with the Redbacks as an assistant for three years, before he became an assistant to John Buchanan in the Australia national setup in 2005. He coached Bangladesh in the lead-up to the 2011 World Cup and has steered Wellington to two titles in the past four seasons in New Zealand’s domestic competitions.

“I am so happy to be back home after a long time away,” Siddons said. “I’m excited about the list, especially some of the talented young players, and I can’t wait to get started.”

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Watson available for first West Indies Test

Australia allrounder Shane Watson is set to join the Test squad in the West Indies on Wednesday, following the birth of his second child in Sydney. Watson, however, will not participate in the three-day tour game against WICB President’s XI in North Sound, the only warm-up match before the two-Test series gets underway on June 3.

The allrounder had delayed his departure for the Caribbean due to the impending birth of his second child – who was born on May 24 – and was uncertain for the first Test.

Apart from Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Steven Smith and David Warner will also miss the warm-up match, after the team management opted to rest players returning from the IPL season.

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