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Carey rides Ashes luck in mixed series

Having twice fallen cheaply while putting the team’s interests ahead of his own, Alex Carey perhaps deserved a stroke of Ashes good fortune.

The wicketkeeper, elevated to the Test side at the start of the series after Tim Paine’s inglorious departure, top-scored with 49 in Australia’s second innings in Hobart.

The knock, under cloudy skies and on a pitch where none of his teammates passed 30, will see his stocks rise ahead of the tour of Pakistan in March.

But it wasn’t without a fair amount of luck.

Carey was bowled by Chris Woakes on 19 before the delivery was ruled a no-ball in a controversial call by third umpire Paul Reiffel.

Former Test umpire Simon Taufel told the Seven Network he didn’t agree with decision, while Australia great Ricky Ponting said opinions would vary depending on which changing room you were in.

Carey had a second life on 30 when he was given out lbw off Stuart Broad, only for the decision to be overturned on review with the ball pitching narrowly outside leg stump.

Carey finally fell to a waft outside off stump early in the middle session.

It was his second-highest Ashes score behind 51 in the first innings at the Adelaide Oval, leaving him with an average of 20.33 for the summer.

His numbers have been impacted by a duck chasing quick runs in Sydney and nine at the Gabba after he volunteered to open in the second innings due to David Warner’s injury.

Carey, who was picked ahead of highly-rated Josh Inglis, has been under close scrutiny behind the stumps.

He bagged a record eight catches at the Gabba, the most on debut by a wicketkeeper in Test history.

But the 30-year-old has suffered several blemishes since, dropping two chances at the SCG and grassing a difficult opportunity during Melbourne’s Boxing Day Test.

In the lead-up to the fifth Test in Hobart, skipper Pat Cummins indicated Carey was the man for the job.

“It’s his first year, it’s tough. He’s working really hard and we are super confident in him,” Cummins told reporters.

“We are really confident in what he can bring and think there’s been a lot of big positives, so the message to him is keep doing what you are doing.”

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