Harmison roars for Lions against Australia

WORCESTER: Discarded fast bowler Stephen Harmison provided the selectors with another reminder of his ability in the England Lions tour match against Australia here at New Road on Wednesday.

Harmison, a stalwart of England's pace battery in the past two Ashes series, bowled a venomous new ball spell of one wicket for six runs in six overs, dismissing opener Phillip Hughes.

At lunch on the first day Australia were 106 for two in what was their last match before next week's first Ashes Test at Cardiff.

In stark contrast to his Gabba opener against Australia in Brisbane in 2006 which sailed direct to second slip, Harmison struck left-hander Hughes square on the helmet with his first delivery of the day as the Lions' attack looked to expose any weakness against the short ball.

Harmison famously drew blood from Australia captain Ricky Ponting's cheek on the first morning of the 2005 Ashes series at Lord's but was dropped during England's tour of the Caribbean earlier this year after some wayward displays.

Ponting won the toss here Wednesday and elected to bat but Hughes, 20, never looked comfortable in the Worcester sunshine and another rising delivery accounted for him for seven in Harmison's fourth over, caught off his bat handle fending to Joe Denly at gully.

Harmison also struck Ponting on the shoulder in a fiery opening spell which signalled his intent to return to the senior side ahead of Sunday's first Test squad announcement.

But it was Graham Onions, his Durham new ball partner, who captured the Australia captain for just one.

Displaying little footwork, Ponting flashed at a wide delivery from Onions (1-22) and was snapped up at first slip by Vikram Solanki.

But When Lions captain Ian Bell rested the opening pair, the runs started to flow.

Simon Katich finished the morning session unbeaten on 55, having added an unbroken 82 with Mike Hussey (37 not out), with some sloppy moments in the field from the Lions.

New South Wales opener Katich had an escape on 37 when Onions, at leg slip, missed a sharp catch off Sajid Mahmood.