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Aussie bowlers hammered by Essex

04/09/2005 05:37:04 AM Comments (0)

Australia's back-up bowlers endured a shocking day as they were dominated by a couple of Essex young guns, who steered the county to a mammoth first-day total.

A 270-run partnership between Alastair Cook, who made 214, and Ravinder Bopara, who made 135, was the backbone of Essex's total of 4-502 at stumps on day one of the two-day match at the county ground.

The two 20-year-olds made it a rotten day for Australia's five bowlers, who are competing for a spot in the must-win final Test against England at The Oval, which starts on Thursday.

With Glenn McGrath (injured elbow) and Shane Warne (rested) not playing, the other bowlers failed in their quest to demand a spot in the final Test side.

Only Michael Kasprowicz (2-85) and Shaun Tait (2-72) claimed wickets, while Stuart MacGill must be at long odds of playing his first Test on English soil, having been punished for 0-128 from 24 overs.

Cook, who put on 140 for the first wicket with Will Jefferson (64), confirmed his standing as the best young batsman in England with a majestic innings which contained 33 fours and a six.

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