More toil for Aussies in Ashes tour game

Mitch Marsh and Nathan Lyon grabbed a wicket but Australia otherwise endured a fruitless start to their tour match against Northamptonshire.

The hosts were 2-109 at lunch on day two of the clash in Northampton, Australia’s final tune-up before the fifth Test starts at the Oval on Thursday.

The first day of the three-day game fixture was abandoned without a single delivery being bowled due to heavy rain.

The sun came out on Saturday, but the tourists failed to shine for most of the first session.

Peter Siddle and Pat Cummins were given the new ball and a chance to press their claims for a Test recall.

Australia’s pace attack for all four Tests – Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood – was rested from the fixture.

Steve Smith, captaining the side in the absence of Michael Clarke, did his part by sending the locals in.

A catch that first slip Adam Voges put down was the closest either paceman came to delivering the initial breakthrough.

Siddle and Cummins bowled well enough but Ben Duckett was largely untroubled as he looked to take them on.

Duckett, who played for Sydney club Parramatta in 2014-15, took 68 balls to register his half-century.

The 20-year-old saw off Shane Watson and Lyon, only to be trapped lbw by Marsh’s first delivery.

Marsh is expected to return to the Test XI next week, having been left out of the side that lost by an innings and 78 runs at Trent Bridge.

Australia relinquished the urn with that defeat, England having taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series.

The game in London will be outgoing captain Clarke’s swansong.

Clarke and Chris Rogers were also rested from the fixture in Northampton.

Cummins bowled with good pace and should have dismissed David Murphy in the 15th over when the opener was on 11, but Voges put the chance down.

The first session ended when Murphy was dismissed for 20, paddling a ball from Lyon straight to Shaun Marsh at short leg.

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