Wade pushes Ashes case with quickfire ton
MATTHEW Wade enhanced his Ashes chances with a 52-ball century and Josh Hazlewood got through his first game back unscathed as Australia A began their England tour with a win.
Just days after speaking about his hopes to be picked in the Ashes squad as a reserve wicketkeeper, Wade hit 117 off just 67 balls in Australia A's six-wicket one-day victory over Northamptonshire.
Peter Handscomb also struck a half-century, as the star-studded Australia A side chased down their target of 263 with 14 overs to spare.
Assuming selectors opt to pick a reserve wicketkeeper to captain Tim Paine in the Ashes, Wade, Alex Carey and possibly Handscomb are the obvious options.
"I struck it as clean as I have in a while," Wade told reporters.
"(I'm) just staying true to the way I want to play, and not letting things that may come in the future or the game after this get in my head.
"I just play the way I want to play and I know if I do that my game is good enough to succeed in any format or competition I play in."
Wade was considered unlucky not to earn Australian selection throughout the home summer, when he scored 1021 Sheffield Shield runs at 60.05 for Tasmania.
He is playing as a batsman only for most of the tour, sharing the gloves with Handscomb in the one-dayers before Paine takes them for the red-ball component.
Earlier, Hazlewood had earlier taken 2-51 with the ball, in what doubled as his first competitive game back since stress fractures emerged in his back in January.
The right-arm quick will be rested for Sunday's game against Derbyshire, before returning for the following one-dayer with Worcestershire on Thursday.
"I've been bowling for a long time now and on a full run for quite a while so I was very confident," Hazlewood said.
"And pulled up quite well … the rhythm felt pretty good for the majority of the 10 overs.
"You can train as much as you want, but to really improve and go that next level you've got to get back out there as soon as you can."
Ashton Agar was the pick of the other bowlers with 3-55, while Mitch Marsh finished with 2-41.