Australia's batsmen struggle on opening day of intra-squad clash

By Sports Desk July 23, 2019

Australia's batsmen struggled during day one of a tour match ahead of the Ashes, with 17 wickets falling in their intra-squad clash on Tuesday.

Marnus Labuschagne top-scored with 41 for a Brad Haddin XII against a Graeme Hick XII in a worrying batting display by Australia just over a week out from the start of the first Test.

The tourists' batting shapes as the biggest concern and there was little to ease those worries at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Labuschagne was the only recognised batsman to reach double figures for Haddin's team, with pace duo Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc doing likewise by making 14 and opener David Warner falling for four.

Michael Neser (4-18) and Jackson Bird (3-28) did most of the damage as the Haddin XII were bowled out for 105.

Mitchell Marsh made a 33-ball 29 for the Hick XII, while Joe Burns (18), Cameron Bancroft (17) and Matthew Wade (10) got to double figures.

Cummins (3-15) and Peter Siddle (3-20) led the way with the ball as Australia's bowling depth and batting woes were highlighted.

"This game is a very serious game and it's a game that we're all looking to perform," Labuschagne said.

"As a whole squad, everyone wants to score runs, take wickets and I think we're getting the best out of each other by playing this hard cricket and it's the best preparation for the upcoming tour."

The first Test between Australia and England begins at Edgbaston on August 1.

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