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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cook and Bell bat Australia out of match and series: T5/D3

England 7/488 (141 ov, A Cook 189, I Bell 115, A Strauss 60. M Prior 54*) lead Australia 280 by 208 runs with 3 first innings wickets in hand: T5 D3 at SCG.

England batted through the day adding 4/323 from 93 overs and by doing so snuffed out any hopes Australia might have had achieving a first innings lead or, more realistically, a relatively small deficit.

After nightwatchman Jimmy Anderson and Paul Collingwood both fell cheaply (the latter giving Michael Beer his first Test wicket). Alistair Cook and Ian Bell put England 100 in front before Cook, having been rightly reprieved on 99 by the UDRS, was out for a commanding 189/342b (16x4). Bell, who on 67 was also let off by the UDRS when perhaps the original decision should have stood, and Matt Prior, added another 107 before Bell fell for 115/232b (13x4) his first century against Australia. Prior's brisk 54*/59b (1x6, 5x4) was just right for the situation.

The Australian bowling? It was another day of honest trundling. There were a few edges but too few balls which beat the bat. Shane Watson was probably the best, and that's not saying much.

Not that I want or need to say much. England are well on course heading for another victory and series win, both of which they well deserve. I'm now going to watch a more even match: South Africa v India at Cape Town.

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