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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Test heads for stalemate as England bats as Australia did: T1 D4

England 260 and 1 /309 (101 ov, A Cook 132*,A Strauss 110, J Trott 54*) lead Australia 481 by 88 runs
with 9 second innings wickets in hand: T1 D4 at the Gabba, Brisbane.

After another bad light induced early finish the First Test is heading for a stalemate.

This is because England batted through D4, adding 290 runs from 85 overs, and losing only one wicket, Andrew Strauss stumped off Marcus North for 110/224b (15x4). They are now 88 runs ahead of Australia.

Strauss and Alistair Cook both batted well and more freely than last night, though each was dropped (by Mitchell Johnson and Michael Clarke respectively) off hard but not difficult chances. Each side has had some crucial fielding lapses, which have exposed the shortcomings of their attacks even more. Today it was Australia's turn as ball after ball didn't appear to me to deviate much (the Channel 9 video protractor usually confirmed this). The bowling wasn't bad, it just didn't look penetrative, and it became progressivly clearer that Strauss and Cook had its measure. Strauss looked almost as annoyed with himself to be out for 110 as he did afterhis first innings duck.

Tomorrow there'll be, as there was today, an early start to try to make up some of the lost time. Cook will resume on a substantial 132*/270b (11x4), while Jonathan Trott is motoring along nicely on 54*/118b (8x4).

I don't believe in miracles, so I can't see any result other than a draw. The wicket has been scuffed up in places but looks to be playing reasonably well. England don't need to win this match so a tempting (or even any) declaration looks unlikely. I can't blame them if Day 5 turns out to be, as it looks like doing, a dud.


Fox Sports report with video highights.
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