Marsh, Nevill star on Isle of Wight
Harris returns to competitive action with early wicket of Rogers before allrounder and keeper steal the show
18 June 2015, 11:59 PM AEST
Australian trio Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill and Adam Zampa have all played lead hands on the opening day of the two-day Ashes warm-up contest on the Isle of Wight.
Allrounder Mitchell Marsh cashed in on a good batting pitch to score 70 before he holed out in the deep as the 'Rogers XI' declared at 8-283 after 70 overs. In reply, Hampshire Second XI were 3-132 at stumps, with Joe Gatting - nephew of Ashes legend Mike - unbeaten on 74.
Peter Nevill also enjoyed the conditions for the Rogers XI, making 67 while Adam Zampa impressed for the Hampshire Second XI with 4-69 from 19 overs, including the wicket of Southern Stars veteran Alex Blackwell (0).
In another boon for Australia, Ryan Harris got through 15 overs for 45 runs, snaring the early wicket of Australia teammate Chris Rogers, whose return from concussion lasted just six balls.
While Harris was boosted by the early wicket, he did take some stick in the morning session but would no doubt have welcomed the run in his first competitive fixture since the Sydney Test against India in early January.
Harris found enough of his customary zip and swing with the new ball to find the outside edge of Rogers' bat, the wicket coming with the first ball of his second over to end the opener's stay with just two runs next to his name.
Chasing a wide half-volley, Rogers would likely have been kicking himself in the sheds after young gun Jake Doran took a comfortable catch behind the wicket.
Starved of cricket in the Caribbean, Rogers will be desperate to produce better performances in Australia's two official Qantas Tour of the British Isles warm-ups, against Kent starting on June 25, and Essex from July 1 as competition for places in the Test top six heats up ahead of the Ashes opener.
Harris steams in at Newclose // Isle of Wight Cricket Board
Rogers, 37, took a blow to the helmet from a local net bowler in Dominica on June 1. While it at first seemed an innocuous blow, Rogers later developed headaches and dizzy spells that lasted long enough for him to be ruled out of both of Australia's Tests against the West Indies.
Shaun Marsh took his place at the top of the order but failed to convert a half-century into three figures in the second Test in the Caribbean to keep the door open for Rogers' return.
Under clear blue skies and on a flat track made for batting, Harris kept things tight early, but once a batsman had their eye in, it was a deck made for runs.
His first six overs yielded two maidens but the other four overs went for 20 runs, with the batsmen, led by England Under-19 star Tom Alsop, able to find the boundary regularly.
Harris bowled six-over spells // Isle of Wight Cricket Board
The 35-year-old right-arm quick returned for a second three-over spell shortly before lunch on the opening day, with three overs being sent for 16 runs.
While 19-year-old Alsop raced away, taking advantage of any width from Harris and new-ball partner Brad Wheal, Marsh started slowly and patiently, ensuring he got his eye in before taking any chances.
He eased his way into the innings and, as Alsop passed fifty, Marsh had crept up into the 30s. The pair added 115 runs together in 25 overs.
Marsh had his eye in against West End Redbacks leg-spinner Zampa, sending him for a towering six.
Zampa struck back to have Alsop well caught by Ben Duggan for 75, which brought Australia's Ashes squad back-up wicketkeeper Nevill to the crease.
Australia's Ashes squad members pose for a pic // Isle of Wight Cricket Board
Marsh then hit Zampa for back-to-back boundaries, the second a perfectly timed drive creamed through the covers that brought up his half-century from 83 balls.
The allrounder's runs will have been well received within the Australian camp and will no doubt have pleased the Western Australian himself - this was his first competitive red-ball hit since last December in the Gabba Test against India.
When Marsh fell to give Wheal his second wicket, Nevill took up the attack to keep the runs flowing. The New South Welshman showed sitting on the sidelines in the Caribbean did nothing to harm his prolific Sheffield Shield form, and peeled off a lovely half-century.
Nevill fell shortly before tea, given out lbw on 67 to give Tom Barber, the 19-year-old left-arm quick, his first wicket, and it was Zampa who ran through the lower order, his leg breaks impressing as he finished with four.
West Australian Ryan Duffield snared the early wicket of Michael Pollard (3) before Gatting dominated Hampshire's response with an entertaining 74 not out.
Rogers XI: Chris Rogers (c), Sean Terry, Tom Alsop, Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill, Josh Finnie, Felix Organ, Alex Blackwell, Tom Andrews, Ryan Duffield, James Tomlinson, Ben Ashkenazi
Harris XI: Joe Gatting (c), Michael Pollard, Jake Doran, Lewis McManus, Sean Willis, Brad Taylor, Ben Duggan, Mason Crane, Brad Wheal, Tom Barber, Ryan Harris, Adam Zampa
Start Time: 12:00pm local time (9pm AEST Thursday)
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