ADAM Gilchrist put a dampner on Worcestershire's rain-affected centenary celebrations by producing a match-winning innings in Australia's World Cup warm-up at New Road yesterday.

He hit 86 as the Aussies triumphed by six wickets with 9.1 overs to spare.

Worcestershire, after winning the toss and deciding to bag first, made 162-7 during an innings reduced to 44 overs because of a stoppage for rain.

Under the Duckworth-Lewis method that left the tourists needing to score 178 to win in 44 overs - a target they confidently set about reaching by putting on 127 for the first wicket.

Gilchrist led the way with a fine knock while his fellow opener Mark Waugh was also in free-scoring from by making 64.

The partnership was finally broken when Waugh was splendidly caught at long-off by Gavin Haynes off spinner Richard Illingworth. He had hit eight fours off 67 balls.

Lifted by Waugh's departure the County then took three wickets in successive overs.

Firstly, Ricky Ponting was snapped up behind by Steve Rhodes off paceman Alamgir Sheriyar followed next ball by Gilchrist who was trapped leg before by David Leatherdale.

Gilchrist clubbed two sixes and nine fours before being followed back to the pavilion by Steve Waugh, caught by Rhodes off Duncan Catterall.

For Worcestershire it was a well earned burst of quick-fire wickets but not enough to stop the Aussies cruising to a comfortable victory.


Earlier, opener Phil Weston had been the County's top scorer with 44 - an innings watched by the Duke of Edinburgh who, as part of the centenary match celebrations, was introduced to both teams.

Weston put on 47 with Paul Pollard whose departure for 14 heralded the arrival of Reuben Spiring who came in for his first match since September 1997 because of knee trouble.

He began on the comeback trail by making 19 before falling to Shane Warne.

Afterwards Spiring said: "It's been a long wait, almost two years. I've had five operations and it's been a bit of a nightmare but there's nothing you can do. It's good to be back though.

"Australia are one of the best sides in the world, but it would have been nice to have got a few more runs against them," he added.

Haynes was the County's second top scorer with 22.


Pollard lbw Warne 14

Weston b Lee 44

Spiring st Gilchrist b Warne 19

Solanki c McGrath b Lee 8

Haynes c M Waugh b Fleming 22

Leatherdale c Lee b Fleming 8

Rhodes not out 8

Illingworth lbw b McGrath 1

Catterall not out 4

Extras 34

Total (7 wkts, 44 overs) 162

Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-90, 3-106, 4-113, 5-139, 6-148, 7-151.

Bowling: Fleming 8-1-28-2; Dale 9-1-30-0; McGrath 8-2-19-1; Warne 10-2-27-2; Lee 9-0-42-2.


(Target 178 from 44 overs)

Gilchrist lbw b Leatherdale 86

M Waugh c Haynes b Illingworth 64

Ponting c Rhodes b Sheriyar 14

Lehmann not out 8

S Waugh c Rhodes b Catterall 2

Bevan not out 2

Extras 5

Total (4 wkts, 34.1 overs) 181

Fall of wickets: 1-127, 2-169, 3-169, 4-172.

Bowling: Sheriyar 9-0-46-1; Haynes 4-0-21-0; Catterall 6.1-0-33-1; Rawnsley 4-0-26-0; Leatherdale 7-0-32-1; Illingwoth 4-0-22-1.

Australia won by 6 wkts.