Is Smith’s return the confidence boost Australia need?
Australians 338 for 5 dec (Marsh 74, Khawaja 72, Harris 64) beat Derbyshire 172 (du Plooy 86, Neser 3-31) and 112 (Starc 4-39) by an innings and 54 runs
Heavy rain was forecast to arrive in Derby in early afternoon but it was far too late for Derbyshire as the Australians wrapped up an innings victory before lunch on day three, allowing them the luxury of an early bus trip to Manchester ahead of the fourth Ashes Test.
Needing seven wickets when the day began, they enjoyed early success when Michael Neser – excellent all match – found a nip-backer to bowl Alex Hughes off the inside edge, before Harvey Hosein was turned around by a perfectly pitched Peter Siddle delivery that was neatly taken by Alex Carey behind the stumps.
Mitchell Marsh then got the Dukes ball swinging to deceive Leus du Plooy with a delivery that curled back down the line for an lbw verdict, and when Alfie Gleadall was bowled off his thigh pad in similar fashion to Matthew Wade’s first innings demise at Headingley, the game looked set to be over in a matter of minutes – Tony Palladino being absent with a ankle complaint.
Hamidullah Qadri and Matt Critchley lasted a few overs before the former fenced at Mitchell Starc and was well held by Wade at first slip, and first ball an around-the-wicket yorker was much too good for Dustin Melton, as leg stump went flying. Starc finished the match with seven wickets and a strengthened case for inclusion at Old Trafford.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo