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Pucovski stars as Australia A claim tight victory

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3rd July, 2019
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Will Pucovski has pushed his faint Ashes hopes with a century in Australia A’s tight nine-run win over Gloucestershire at Bristol.

An uncapped squad member in the last Test summer, Pucovski hit 137 in the visitors’ 3-353 as captain Travis Head also hit 138.

But the Aussies had a tough time defending the small Bristol County Ground, as the hosts needed 17 from Josh Hazlewood’s last over but finished 7-344.

Hazlewood had a tough time with the ball with figures of 0-66 from 10, while Sean Abbott took 4-52 and Ashton Agar 2-44.

But it is Pucovski’s runs that are most notable, after he also hit a half-century in his first hit out of the tour on Sunday.

Opening alongside Matthew Wade, he hit 14 boundaries and one six to mount his Ashes case.

The 21-year-old is in a battle with a number of players for Australia’s No.6 spot, including Joe Burns, Kurtis Patterson, Peter Handscomb, Marnus Labuschagne, Aaron Finch and Wade.

However, he said before the match he was not holding strong hopes of selection.

“The Ashes is one of those things where I think every player wants to be on it but at the same time … if I’m not selected I won’t lose much sleep over it,” he said.

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“I have had a great time in England, I’m 21 years old and there is plenty of time ahead.”

The right-hander is playing his first serious cricket in England and has a first-class average of 44.09.

He was originally named in Australia’s Test squad for the series against Sri Lanka last year, but was not picked in the XI and was ultimately released to manage his wellbeing.

“(It was good) just getting a feel for what it’s like at that next level and realising this is what it takes and what we do,” he said. 

“And just being around guys who have played 50 or 60 Tests for Australia and how they do it.”

© AAP