Australia A 4-331 dec. & 111 defeated Gloucestershire 122 & 296 (Bird 3-53, Harris 3-56, Sayers 3-68) by 24 runs at Bristol. Full Scorecard
One last ditch effort from the final Gloucestershire pair wasn't enough to prevent Australia A from claiming a 24-run win in Bristol.
Two days of entertaining cricket left the game in the balance heading into the final day, where only gloomy Bristol conditions threatened to prevent a result.
Three wickets each to Jackson Bird, Ryan Harris and Chadd Sayers completed Australia A's third consecutive tour win, but it wasn't without a slight scare from the hosts.
Four bowlers were used on day two by captain Steve Smith and one of them got the early breakthrough - Ryan Harris claiming Dan Christian's wicket as he edged one attempting a leave outside off.
Five minutes later Gloucestershire had two men back in the pavilion when Harris trapped Howell LBW first ball to have Australia A back on top at 5 for 169.
Six overs passed before Will Gidman was castled by the impressive Bird, getting one to jag back and uproot his off-stump to give the visitors a chance of victory inside the first session.
Seven scalps were needed on day three by Australia A, and when Gareth Roderick fell to an absolute screamer by Fawad Ahmed, whose one-handed specky could only be seen to be believed, Gloucestershire where headed to an early lunch.
Eight men were lurking inside the 30-yard circle for the next victim but had to wait as Cameron Herring and James Cameron showed their top-order how to combat the pace and swing of the opposition.
Nine runs and 46 balls were collected by Herring before he was eaten Bird, playing down the wrong line to be caught by Silk in the slips.
Ten balls later Fuller joined Herring in the sheds and had to watch on as the final pair gutted it out for another fourteen overs before Liam Norwell became Sayers' eighth wicket of the match to end the game.
Eleven players from both sides shook hands, acknowledging a tough, fair game of high-class cricket.
Twelve players and staff will now head to Taunton to join The Ashes squad to begin their campaign to #ReturnTheUrn, as the rest fly home knowing they've achieved a lot over the last four weeks, representing their country and themselves proud.
About the Writer
Sam Ferris is a writer for cricket.com.au, having started his career in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent with Cricket Australia. His passion for the longer versions of the sport drew him to the cricket.com.au team in 2013-14, where he has continued to monitor both the domestic scene and the national sides closely.