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Hussey ton tames Lions as Cook saves England blushes

SAVIOUR Michael Hussey took the wind out of Steve Harmison&rsquo;s sails to bring respectability to an otherwise disappointing day for Australia&rsquo;s batsmen against England Lions.<br /><br />Harmison impressed with 3-67, while Durham team-mate Graham Onions took 2-62 as the England second string put the tourists on the back foot early on at New Road.<br /><br />But Hussey hit back with his first century for nine months &ndash; and a 50th overall in first class cricket &ndash; to leave the Aussies at a respectable 337-8 at the close. Hussey remained unbeaten on 143 from 221 deliveries with 18 fours to his name, backed only by opener Simon Katich, who added 95 in a third wicket partnership of 141.<br /><br />His was Harmison&rsquo;s second wicket after accounting for talented opener Phil Hughes for seven, while Onions saw off skipper Ricky Ponting for just a single.<br /><br />Meanwhile, Alastair Cook was the England hero with a century against Warwickshire in an otherwise disappointing batting display in the Ashes warm-up match at Edgbaston.<br /><br />Cook&rsquo;s 124 helped England to 217-4 at tea before five wickets then fell for 77 runs, leaving captain Andrew Strauss to declare on 290-8. Kevin Pietersen was dismissed for just one, while Andrew Flintoff, disciplined for missing the team bus during last week&rsquo;s trip to Belgium, fell for 19.<br /><br />Ravi Bopara was the next top scorer with 43 with Strauss adding 31 before he become the first of three victims of seamer Naqaash Tahir, playing his first Championship match since last August. James Anderson claimed the early wicket of Ian Westwood, leaving the county side on 31-1 at the close.