Hayden in the runs at Chelmsford

After being hit for 500 runs on the first day of this tour match, Australia’s batsmen had no problem returning the favour on the 2nd and final day.

With Essex declaring overnight, Australia’s openers soon found their feet on the flat surface, sharing a partnership of 213 before Langer was caught at slip off Middlebrook for 87. Hayden, who was dropped twice on his way to three figures eventually retired out on 150, scoring at well over a run a ball.

With Hayden gone, Katich and Hodge picked up where he left off, after taking a while to get settled. They scored rapidly in their partnership of 134, which ended with Katich caught behind off Napier for 72.

Hodge was joined at the crease by Gilchrist, who has been a disappointment so far this series. Gilchrist failed once again, skying a pull shot to midwicket.

After Napier dropped a return catch from Hodge, reserve wicket-keeper Brad Haddin scored 59, adding a further 161 before both fell to the spin of Tim Phillips with the score on 550.

The close of play came after 11 more runs were added, leaving none of the Essex bowlers with particularly rosy figures.

This game provided some much needed batting practice for the Australians, and Hayden’s hundred was his third against county opposition. Australian fans will be hoping he can eventually turn this into some test form.

Essex 502-4
Alistair Cook 214, Ravinder Bopara 135
Shaun Tait 2-72, Michael Kasprowicz 2-85

Australia 561-6
Brad Hodge 166, Matthew Hayden 150
Jame Middlebrook 2-110, Tim Phillips 2-137

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