Oswestry’s Joe Clarke has done his future England chances no harm as he starred with the bat as a late replacement for Ben Duckett, following the tour’s latest controversy.
Duckett was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board for allegedly pouring a pint over vice-captain and bowling legend James Anderson after tour bosses lifted the curfew placed on the players following a similar incident.
Clarke was a late call-up and helped set up England’s 314-9dec in their first innings against a Cricket Australia XI with a solid 45.
He was at the crease for an hour and 15 minutes, taking 55 balls to accumulate his score, with seven fours before he was caught by Alex Bevilaqua off Mac Wright’s bowling.
The Worcestershire batsman was not required to bat second time around after both sides tried to set a target for hosts and for the England bowlers to take wickets in Perth.
The tourists ultimately fell two wickets short as Jack Leach took four and Tom Curran took three to leave the CA XI 269-8, around 20 runs away from their target.
Clarke is currently touring Australia with the Lions and last weekend’s tour match was an opportunity to give fringe players, such as Jake Ball, a chance to bowl while Mark Wood was given a chance to prove his fitness.
The Durham quick may be a surprise selection in the third Ashes test starting this week at the famous WACA, where fast bowlers will be much needed if England are to gain a foothold in the series, where they trail 2-0.