Marcus North hit an unbeaten 106 as Australia recovered from a shaky 90 for three in their second innings to post a healthy 275 for four at stumps on Day Three of the final practice match against England Lions on Friday. North,using his experience of representing five English county teams,justified Australias decision to promote him two places to number four to allow him extra batting practice before the first Ashes Test in Cardiff on Wednesday.
He stitched together a 170-run fourth-wicket stand with Michael Clarke (80) as Australia led by 281 going into the final day. Fast bowler Steve Harmison boosted his chances of a Test recall by taking the wickets of Phillip Hughes (8) and Ricky Ponting (15).
Before lunch,the Lions were dismissed for 352,with Adil Rashid scoring 66 and Brett Lee finishing with six for 76.
North only made his debut in February and scored 117 against South Africa in his first Test innings. His straight drive for four against fast bowler Graham Onions that took him to 62 was a typical show of authority that marked his innings. He reached his century in 168 balls with 13 fours. His stand with Clarke ended when part-time spinner Vikram Solanki had the Aussie vice-captain caught at long-on.
Australia 358 and 275 for four (M North 106 n.o.; S Harmison 2/36) vs England 352 (S Moore 120; Lee 6/76) at the end of Day 3.