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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Good Australian batting+ foul Cardiff weather= draw? Ashes 09 T1 D3

Australia 5/479 (139 ov, R Ponting 150, S Katich 122, M Clarke 83, M North 54*) lead England 435 by 44 runs with 5 1st inns wickets in hand: Ashes Test #1 Day 3 at Cardiff.

England's 15 minutes or thereabouts of sunshine came before lunch as Australia slipped from 1/299 to 4/331. Simon Katich was lbw to Jimmy Anderson for a worthy if tad fortunate 122/261b/12x4, Ricky Ponting played on to Monty Panesar for a topnotch 150/224b/14x4, 1x6, and Michael Hussey was caught behind off Anderson for a scrappy 3.

Thereafter it was all Australia. Michael Clarke and Marcus North took the total past England's before rain intervened. When play resumed with the ground floodlights on (a first for England the UK) they extended their partnership to 143 before the vice-captain succumbed to Stuart Broad for a classy 83/145b/9x4, 1x6.

TV pictures show that the pitch appears to have deteriorated since the match began yet you wouldn't know that from the way England bowled.

With Cardiff now comfortably supplanting Manchester as the wettest Test venue in the UK (1,061 v 810 mm ave annual rainfall) and an unpromising forecast it looks as if a draw is now even more the likeliest result. If that happens and given the dominance of bat over ball in this match we may be condemned to several highscoring draws in the rest of this series.

I hope not, despite the quality batting from Ponting and others which, if you haven't already seen, look out for on TV or online eg here.

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