LITESPORT 38 Thursday, 30 July 2009 London Lite AXE FALLS ONWorriedAussiescallup all-rounderWatsonbut whowillopenbatting? PHILLIPHUGHEShasbeendroppedfor thethirdTestatEdgbastontoday--leav- ing Australia without an opener to partner Simon Katich. Hughes has been replaced by injury- prone all-rounder Shane Watson, who has never batted higher than No6 in a Test match. EvenatstatelevelinAustralia,Hughes usually bats at four for Queensland. When Justin Langer retired and came over to play for Somerset, Watson tried opening in the Sheffield Shield to improve his Test chances. According to Cricinfo, in his only six innings as an opener, he made 0, 0, 0, 15, 13 and 0. As a late-order Test batsman so far,heaverages19.76andinhislast four innings he has failed to reach double figures. Merv Hughes, the formerAustralianfast bowlerwhoisnowon the selection com- mittee, refused to confirm the deci- sion this morning -- though Phillips management com- pany revealed it at 8am this morning on his twitter.com site, saying: I am disap- pointed not to be on the field with the lads today. But Merv -- no relation to Phil -- then told Australian media: When we picked this squad everyone sat back and said we only had two openers. But we felt we had five, with Mike Hussey, Marcus North and Watson. He [Watson] has opened in one-day cricket and done very well there. Hughes comments beg the question: Who will open for the Australians... and why did they drop Hughes, who made 68 against Northamptonshire in their final warm-upgamebeforetheTestlastweek- end? In his three Ashes innings so far on this tour, Hughes scored 36 in Cardiff, then 4 and 17 at Lords but he arrived for his first English tour on the back of averaging 69 in his first three Tests against South Africa. He started there with a failure but recovered to score two centuries in the secondTestof aserieswhichtheAussies won to keep their mantle as the worlds greatest Test nation. Middlesex came under fire for offering Hughes a friendly introduction to Eng- lish conditions at the start of the sum- mer when he scored 574 runs in three County Championship matches, includ- ing three hundreds, at an incredible average of 143.50 -- he still tops the Divi- sion Two batting stats. ButonethingHugheswasnt subjected to there was short-pitched bowling. Steve Harmison found him out with a few rib-ticklers for Eng- land Lions against the Aussies before the first Test in a warm-up game at Worcestershires New Road -- and Andrew Flintoff (twice) and Jimmy Anderson have both used throat-high deliver- ies to claim his scalp in the Test matches since. Australias decision to axe Hughes for Watson smacks of panic. He scored 84 and 50 in Northampton last week -- but hebattedatNo3.TheAussiesstillhadnt confirmed their starting eleven at lunch andcouldyetreconsiderbeforeplaygets underway. Inbrief Now there are three for ECB THE ECB have confirmed there will be just three domestic cricket competitions next summer -- the LV County Championship, an enhanced Twenty20 tournament to be played in June and July, and a Sunday afternoon limited-overs competition. ECB chairman Giles Clarke said: We all recognise that there is little appetite for Tests in early May and this allows us to play Test cricket in June, July and August. Gissa job says stunned Nick NICK HEIDFELD has been left stunned by BMWs withdrawal from F1 yesterday. Heidfeld and team-mate Robert Kubica are on the lookout for new jobs when the team folds at the end of the season and Heidfeld, 32, said: It was totally unexpected. But Im not going to lose sight of my ambition to reach the top. Ill be doing my best to ensure we get the best possible finish to the season for the team. Royal Wie will avoid the traps MICHELLE WIE goes into todays British Womens Open promising to avoid the traps at Royal Lytham. In 2006, the Hawaiian mistakenly touched a loose impediment in a bunker. She was penalised a couple of shots and finished 26th. Before her last tournament as a teenager, Wie -- who first qualified for the Open as a 12-year- old --said: This time Im going to try and stay out of all the bunkers. Live on BBC2, 2-6pm. Keothavongs season is over BRITISH No1 Anne Keothavong will miss the rest of this season after a scan revealed her left knee will require surgery. Keothavong suffered a tear to both the anterior cruciate ligament and the meniscus when she collided with a fence chasing a drop shot during a doubles match in Stanford, California, on Tuesday. She said: Im flying to London to see my doctors. I will have to have rehab for the rest of the season. Somerset win on a bowl-out SOMERSET beat Lancashire 5-1 in an historic bowl-out after their Twenty20 Cup quarter-final was rained off at a soggy Old Trafford this afternoon. Alfonso Thomas was the hero for the visitors as he hit the unguarded stumps twice. Lancashire only managed it once -- on their first attempt from rookie pace bowler Steven Cheetham. Somerset will now face Kent in the last four on Finals Day at Edgbaston on 15 August. ENGLANDvAUSTRALIA ASHES2009 THIRDTEST HOW DROPPED PHIL REVEALED ALL ON TWITTER Do you tweet? Follow us at: LondonLiteNews AS former England coach David Lloyd said on telly from Edgbaston at 10.05am this morning, if you want to keep up with the Ashes, youve got to be a Twitterer. And hes right. At 8.12am, Phillip Hughes (PH408), the Australian opener told the world: Disappointed not to be on the field with the lads today, will be supporting the guys, its a BIG Test match 4 us. Thanks 4 all the support! Lloyd (BumbleCricket), now a well-loved TV commentator, had only Twittered about strong rumours of a change at the top of the Australian order up to that point. A quick message from the London Lite Sports Editor (NealCol) and there he was admitting on Sky Sports News an hour later: I only heard about Phillip being dropped when I read about it on Twitter! And how about a unique insight into Englands five-a-side football warm-ups? Heres paceman James Anderson (JimmyAnderson9): Good game of five-a-side footy tonight. Bit scary when Swanny thinks he is Vinny Jones!! To which spinner Graeme Swann (Swannyg66) then replies: Five- a-side, Jimmy A is an absolute animal, Broad is like Drogba to which, with one eye on the weather, he then adds: Cricket whites or swimming trunks? Before news came through that play was delayed, BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (Aggerscricket) twittered: Six groundstaff up all night mopping. Then came a far more intriguing: Hope you heard the Geoff Boycott/Matthew Hayden row on air. Boycott stormed out of the Test Match Special box!. Followed by: Haydens challenge had been to win over the British public. Achieved it in first ten minutes on air with Boycott! Youve got to be a big Twit: David Lloyd BY NEAL COLLINS Hows that for openers? Simon Katich and the axed Phillip Hughes, left, who will be replaced by Shane Watson, inset left TV AND RADIO Sky Sports 1 10am-7pm, highlights: 8pm and 11pm. Channel 5 highlights: 7.15pm. BBC Radio 4 from 10.25am. Five Live Sports Extra 10.25am-6.30pm. WEATHER Today: Light rain and showers but should brighten in the afternoon. 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