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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

England in better position though Australia has its moments T5 D2

England 3/167 (48ov, A Cook 61*, A Strauss 60) trail Australia 280 (106.1 ov, M Johnson 53, J Anderson 4/66) by 113 runs on first innings: T5/5 D2/5 at SCG.

Mitchell Johnson 53/66b (1x6, 5x4) and Ben Hilfenhaus 34/58b (1x6, 3x4) saw Australia to a better than expected, if still below par, 280 before Andrew Strauss cut loose, with Alistair Cook in support, in a first wicket stand of 98 which put England on the fast track to a first innings lead. The Australian pace attack wilted in the face of the assault but out of the blue Hilfenhaus produced a beauty - moving one away to clip the off stump - which dismissed Strauss for 60/58b (1x6, 8x4) and prompted an Australian revival of sorts, kicked on by Johnson bowling Jonathon Trott for a duck..

Michael Beer, the virtually unknown slow left armer, didn't bowl until two wickets were down and the total past 100 . He tossed the ball up, was hit, but could should have had a wicket when Cook mistimed a drive, was caught and walked before Umpire Bowden, drawing upon his extensive repertoire of gestures, ascertained via the TV umpire that the delivery was - just - a no ball. Why he couldn't have it called it so escapes me. That said, there was no excuse for a slow bowler to bowl a no-ball.

At stumps Cook was 61*/141b (6x4) and England still on track for a first innings lead, unless the Australian bowlers emulate their English counterparts and wear the batting down with accurate bowling.

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