Potchefstroom: World Champion Australia posted a formidable 280 for nine against a provincial North West team in its first World Cup warm-up in the central student town on Tuesday.
A 106-run partnership between Darren Lehmann and Damien Martyn formed the backbone for Ricky Ponting's Green and Golds after a rather subdued start at the North West Stadium. It also laid the platform for the lower order to punish the North West bowlers for some loose bowling towards the end of the innings. Opening batsman Adam Gilchrist played some fine shots - scoring 27 off 36 balls with three boundaries at the start of the innings. But Lehmann, who is serving an international five-match ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC) including Australia's opening World Cup clash against Pakistan on February 11, after a racial vilification of Sri Lanka, was ruthless on anything short. He took a particular liking to young spinner Ronald Siwane, hitting him for 16 of his first over via four boundaries, the SAPA news agency reported. In total, Lehmann hit six fours and a towering six before he retired on 64 off 68 balls with the total on 166. Martyn was more subdued, stroking his way to a patient 40 from 55 balls. The North West Dragons won the toss and sent Australia in to bat.
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