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Australia captain Clarke returns after back injury

October 30, 2013

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke returned to action after a six-week back injury layoff to score 88 runs for New South Wales in a first-class match Wednesday against Tasmania.

Clarke hopes to be fit for the first Ashes test against England beginning Nov. 21 in Brisbane.

The Australia skipper was grinding his way toward a century before he nicked a delivery behind off Sam Rainbird. Clarke brought up his 50 off 103 balls and eventually faced 190 deliveries in his four hours at the crease.

Clarke’s back injury flared up late in the Ashes series in England, won 3-0 by the hosts.

He was initially included in Australia’s limited-overs squad for the ongoing series in India, but withdrew to have extensive therapy on his back.

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