Symonds shines but ACA loses to All Stars

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Brisbane, Nov 14 (UNI) Justifying his come back in the national squad, all-rounder Andrew Symonds scored 45 runs though it was not enough for his team Australian XI which lost to the All Stars in a Twenty20 exhibition match here tonight.

Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) All-Stars team scored 203 for four and then bowled out Australia for 139.

All Stars' skipper Adam Gilchrist played a little cameo of 25 runs as his team set up a big total.

Justin Langer scored an unbeaten 52 in a 120-run stand with Brad Hodge (65 not out off 45) and the duo rescued the All Stars team at a time when they were four down on 83.

Tasmania's 32-year-old opener Michael Dighton, who completely outshone his opening partner Gilchrist with an incredible start, rampaged his way to 32 from eight deliveries.

Only when he was caught for 34 from 13 balls with a direct-hit by another Tasmanian, Xavier Doherty, did the ACA All-Stars started to slow their tempo.

Gilchrist had departed earlier in the same over when he missed an inswinger from Tait and was bowled for 25 from 20 balls.

Gilchrist had already given the spectators a taste of his former glory with five classic boundaries.

The Australian XI, captained by Michael Hussey in the absence of the ill Michael Clarke and the resting Ricky Ponting, struggled to curb the run-rate as Dighton and Gilchrist blasted the first 50 from 17 balls.

Then it was the turn of Hodge and Langer to trouble the first-choice team and their 120-run partnership at nearly ten an over did the trick.

The chase was always going to be tough for the Australian XI, several of whom had rushed to Brisbane after only a day in their home cities following the tough tour of India.

Pace bowler Steve Magoffin's excellent opening spell accounted for both Matthew Hayden and Shaun Marsh for single figures. Hayden was brilliantly caught by Ryan Harris at mid-off while Marsh was caught in the deep when Brendan Drew dived and somehow ended up with the ball between his thighs, but cleanly off the ground.

By the time the Australian XI were 5 for 59, the only interest was in how Symonds would perform.

However, Symonds, in his first game after the 'go-fishing' saga ripped out some signature blows after a rusty start but could not get his side close to the All Stars' four for 203.

The lanky all-rounder was out in the 14th over, after scoring a 35-ball 45 when his teams score was at 105 for six.

''It was a relaxed way to get back into the big picture,'' said Symonds after the match.

All Stars skipper Adam Gilchrist used his bowlers cleverly in the first ten overs. Pacers Steve Magoffin and Brendan Drew claimed two wickets each.

Brief score: (ACA 203/4, Brad Hodge 65, Justin Langer 52, Shaun Tait 28/1, Doherty 28/1) (Australia XI Andrew Symonds 45, Michael Hussey 28, S Magoffin 21/2, AB McDonald 23/2) UNI XC RKM RAR NS2048

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