• Leicestershire v Australians, Grace Road

McKay's four brings easy victory for Australia

Daniel Brettig at Grace Road
June 21, 2012
Australians 241 for 8 (Warner 74, Hussey 37, Razzaq 3-39) beat Leicestershire 136 (McKay 4-31) by 102 runs D/L

David Warner retired after making 74 © Getty Images

David Warner played the only innings of real substance as the Australians rolled to 241 for 8 against Leicestershire at the start of their ODI tour of the British Isles.

A pair of rain interruptions, the first delaying the start for nearly two hours, reduced the tourists' allotment to 41 overs, Warner the only batsman to get truly established against a mediocre county attack.

Others including Matthew Wade, the captain Michael Clarke, David Hussey and George Bailey made starts, but will want to go on to more sturdy totals in the matches to follow, starting with Saturday's ODI against Ireland in Belfast. Most problems were posed by Abdul Razzaq, the only Leicestershire bowler close to international pedigree.

Low cloud and misty rain delayed the start from 10.45am to 12.30pm, the allotted overs reduced to 47 per side. Clarke won the toss and chose to bat, the pitch tinged green but firm enough to reward assertive batsmen, particularly as Leicester's attack was modest. Peter Forrest, Brett Lee, Pat Cummins and Ben Hilfenhaus sat out for the visitors.

Warner opened with Matthew Wade ahead of Shane Watson at No. 3, a shift back to the ODI batting order that had been favoured in Australia. Watson had opened on slower West Indian pitches, the better to capitalise on his muscular hitting while the ball was still new, but he seems more likely to come in at first wicket down as a minor concession to his likely bowling demands on this tour.

Nadeem Malik's opening spell was tidy, leaving Wade and Warner to gain more change from the slippery but less accurate Nathan Buck - an England Lions representative. Wade was the more careful of the two batsmen, playing his first significant innings in England, but both he and Warner split the field often enough in an opening stand of 69 that warded off any perceived threat from the new ball.

It was Razzaq, the former Pakistan allrounder, who found a way past Wade, straightening one enough to win an lbw verdict as Australia's wicketkeeper failed to get forward. Warner took a liking to the modest left-arm spin of James Sykes, hoisting him for a trio of sixes. They were broken up by the dismissal of Watson, however, who tried to pull a short ball in the same direction but did not clear deep midwicket.

Rain arrived shortly after Clarke had arrived at the wicket, and the further delay cut the innings to 41 overs. Though Warner retired on resumption, his innings left a stronger impression than several that were to follow. Clarke clipped his way to 29 then was bowled slogging at Cobb the ball after lofting him for six, David Hussey played busily but shelled Nadeem into the deep, and George Bailey's 21 was brisk but ended when he failed to cover a Razzaq delivery that snapped back to splay the stumps.

Steve Smith's return to the Australian side after a summer with New South Wales was also underwhelming, tallying only 11 before he too failed to clear the boundary, and Clint McKay could last only one ball against Razzaq. However Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson hit out well at the end, looking a pair of twins in their upright and powerful left-handed stances.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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