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11-Feb-2015 10:20:00 GMT
World Cup 2015 warm-ups

Australia Rout UAE in Clarke Return Game

Melbourne: Michael Clarke struck a half-century in an encouraging return from injury as Australia routed United Arab Emirates by 188 runs at the MCG on Wednesday in World Cup warm-up game.

Clarke, captaining Australia for the first time since the surgery almost two months ago, spent just over 90 minutes at the crease in a confidence-booster at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 33-year-old was promoted to opener to maximise his time in the middle, and offered a sharp chance on two after winning the toss.

He steadied and kept the scoreboard ticking over in a 123-run partnership with Aaron Finch.

Leading the team after a long lay-off from hamstring surgery, Clarke promoted himself up the batting order to open with Aaron Finch and top-scored for the hosts with 64 from 62 balls after winning the toss on a sweltering day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Finch (61) and Steven Smith (59) also scored half-centuries as Australia put 304-8 on the board before bowling the Middle Eastern minnows out for 116 with nearly 20 overs to spare.

Clarke's knock would have lasted only 20 minutes and two runs had Amjad Ali not put down a diving chance at cover point and the 33-year-old also survived a shout for leg before in a streaky start to his innings.

UAE, coached by former Pakistan bowler Aaqib Javed who won a World Cup with the team in 1992, were not disgraced in the field and briefly threatened to bowl Australia out with three quick wickets late in the innings.

Clarke raised warm cheers from the crowd of 3,000 by taking the ball in the 17th over to send down a few deliveries of his left-arm spin. He bowled two wicketless overs for five runs.

Fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins took two top-order wickets each to continue their battle for a spot in Australia's pace attack, while middle-order batsman Swapnil Patil top-scored for UAE with 31.

Krishna Chandran was the pick of UAE's bowlers with 3-50.

Brief scores
Australia -
304/8 (Clarke 64, Finch 61, Smith 59, Chandran 3-50, Aziz 3-56)
UAE - 116 (Patil 31, Doherty 2-3, Hazlewood 2-12, Cummins 2-21)
Result - Australia won by 188 runs

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