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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 August 2005, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Day four as it happened
THIRD TEST - MATCH SUMMARY (Old Trafford, Day 4 Close):
Australia 302 & 24-0 v England 444 & 280-6 dec

Australia were set a world record 423 to win the third Test after a fourth day of England domination highlighted by Andrew Strauss's maiden Ashes ton.

Strauss made 106 and Ian Bell 65 on day four at Old Trafford as England declared their second innings on 280-6.

Both men fell to Glenn McGrath, who took his 28th Test five-wicket haul.

Australia, dismissed for 302 in their first innings with Simon Jones taking 6-53 and Shane Warne making 90, were 24-0 at stumps second time around.


LATEST ACTION (all times BST):

1830: Another confident appeal as Langer shoulders arms to Giles, but Bowden shakes his head, as he does when England try their luck with another appeal to the final ball of the day, the Australian openers safely negotiating a 10-over spell.

1826: Langer edges into the ground and it slips through the legs of Jones behind the stumps to trickle away for four.

1825: A big appeal as Langer pads up to Vaughan outside the off-stump but Bucknor shakes his head.

1822: Giles over-pitches and is driven through the covers for four by the redoubtable Langer.

1814: Langer topples over as he tries to turn to leg, but is otherwise untroubled by the England captain.

1811: Vaughan ensures the light is not offered to the batsmen by bringing himself on for some gentle off-spin.

1809: Giles is brought on to replace the ineffective Hoggard.

1807: Jones pulls off an amazing take one handed at full length to his right, and signals to the Australian contingent in the crowd, who have brought with him a derogatory banner ridiculing the keeper.

1805: The umpires confer but decided not to offer the light.

1802: Hoggard's first over is poor, and a wide one is savagely cut to the fence by Langer, with Bowden giving the bowler a gentle warning about his follow through into the danger zone.

1801: Langer is able to waste some time by protesting about an open window is the distance, Hayden using the opportunity to remind umpire Bowden about the increasingly questionable light.

1757: Hoggard, who has had a lean time recently, is entrusted with the new ball from the Stretford End, but his first delivery is a no-ball and is taken in front of first slip.

1753: Harmison is given the first over, with three slips, a gully and a leg gully, the first ball whistling past Langer's nose.

INNINGS BREAK:

1741: Perhaps working out some frustration at some of his recent errors behind the stumps, Jones launches an even bigger six, many rows back at mid-wicket, and Vaughan decides that is a suitable time to declare, setting Australia 423 to win.

1739: Jones continues his cameo with a mighty swipe over mid-wicket for six off McGrath, then edges the next one over the keeper's head for four.

WICKET: ENGLAND 264-6 BELL C KATICH B MCGRATH 65

1736: McGrath picks up his fifth wicket as Bell lofts him straight to Katich at long-off.

1734: More delight for the crowd, as their favourite two adversaries, Warne and Lee suffer further misfortune. Bell cuts Warne but it drops in front of Lee's dive at point and spins past him.

1732: McGrath drops short and Jones is quickly on the back foot, swinging it round to the fence for another four to take the lead past 400.

1730: Umpire Bowden signals another no-ball from McGrath and Jones thumps it fluently into the covers, a misfield from Martyn on the boundary bringing him another two.

1728: Under-fire keeper Jones nudges McGrath to fine leg and races through for a second to bring up the England 250, fortunate that Hodge's throw was not more accurate.

WICKET: ENGLAND 248-5 FLINTOFF B MCGRATH 4

1726: Not much doubt about Flintoff's dismissal, the middle stump spiralling out of the ground as the big Lancastrian misses with a mighty swipe.

1724: Spinning out of the rough round round the wicket, the ball eludes Gilchrist and trickles for four byes, McGrath hobbling after it and deciding not to risk a dive, given the precarious state of his ankle.

1720: McGrath sends down another no-ball, the 13th of the innings, which is also a full toss and Flintoff is content to thump it to long-on for a single, as the lead stretches to 383.

1719: That continues as he skews a drive into the gap on the off-side, McGrath's angles from round the wicket making him difficult to hit forcefully.

1714: Bell has some fortune, top-edging a hook straight over the keeper's head to pick up four more.

1712: McGrath continues round the wicket and Flintoff hooks to huge cheers, but does not time it and only gets a single.

1708: Flintoff gets an inside edge into the pad off Warne that loops up in front of the stumps but Gilchrist cannot cling on as he dives forward and much to crowd's relief the local hero survives.

1707: Bell pushes Warne through the off-side for a single to register his second fifty of the match, from 84 balls.

WICKET: ENGLAND 224-3 PIETERSEN LBW B MCGRATH 0

1704: New man Kevin Pietersen is knocked off his feet by one from McGrath round the wicket, failing to see the ball and plumb lbw first up.

WICKET: ENGLAND 224-3 STRAUSS C MARTYN B MCGRATH 106

1700: Strauss does not quite hold of another pull shot at McGrath and Martyn dives forward 20 yards from the square leg boundary to take the catch, the ball millimetres from the turf.

1653: With Strauss two short of three figures, McGrath peppers him with some short ones and he gets one away to the boundary to record his first century against Australia.

1649: Warne putting his recently renovated hairline to the test with some exasperated rubs as Strauss nudges two more into the leg side.

1647: The increasingly confident Strauss plays a reverse sweep and though that doesn't come off, the next one does, a huge pull for six that takes him to 95.

1642: Strauss gets an inside edge to Warne with a wild slog but it misses the stumps and thumps low into Gilchrist's pads.

1639: Gilchrist misses another stumping opportunity when Bell is way out of his ground to one that spun sharply out of the rough from Warne.

1637:Some quick running between the wickets allows two to be scrambled and the century partnership is recorded, although the ease in which England have scored will be noted by the Australian batsmen.

1635: McGrath tries a slower ball but regrets it when Bell spots it instantly and launches an imperious lofted straight drive for six.

1634: With an hour left, England are 329 ahead, and may decide to declare 400 ahead. Strauss advances down the pitch to McGrath for a single.

1622: Attention turns to Vaughan on the balcony to determine when the declaration will come. Strauss is clearly looking to push things on rapidly and takes two to the hapless Gillespie at fine leg.

1618: Warne's attempts to slow things down are met with derision by the crowd, but the showman is far from perturbed, and plays up to them by continuing to polish the ball instead of bowl it.

1615: The next ball goes the same way with another exquisitely timed, authentic stroke as Bell moves to 36, the Australians chatting in small groups to try to devise their next move.

1614: Bell picks a slightly slower from McGrath and dispatches it beautifully through mid-off andaway to the boundary.

1613: McGrath returns and forces Bell into an inside edge which flies past the stumps to fine leg, where Hodge delights the crowd by slipping onto his backside, and allows the batsmen to cross for two.

1608: Bell thumps one just over McGrath at mid-on and picks up four more, the lead now over 300, as Warne curses his luck.

1607: Sensing the urgency, Bell dances down the wicket to Warne but misses the ball as it spins sharply out of the rough, Gilchrist misses the stumping chance and it is given as four runs to the batsman.

1603: Bell continues in orthodox fashion but finds the gap neatly off the back foot and picks up three, recording the 150.

1602: A no-ball and a misfield brings more welcome runs to England, Strauss moving to 73 which is his highest score of the summer.

1601: Strauss gets back on strike and thumps one over the top as Gillespie strays again, there are several men on the boundary but the ball races to the fence.

1559: Unfortunately for England, who are surely seeking quick runs, Bell squeezes a single off the last ball from Warne, again tying him up from round the wicket, and keeps the strike. The number four has taken 47 balls for his 11.

1555: Bell is unable to quicken the scoring, and is almost undone by a good one from Gillespie, which darts back in and narrowly misses the timbers, expertly taken by Gilchrist diving to his left.

1547: Bell is finally able to get away from Warne by pushing a short one for a single into the leg side.

1543: Gillespie's problems escalate with an official warning for running on the danger area, followed by a misfield on the boundary from Justin Langer that allows Strauss to return for a second run.

1541: Warne continues to torment Bell from round the wicket into the rough stuff, and no runs result.

1536: Strauss latches on to a short and wide one and sends it soaring over square cover to the fence.

1533: Gillespie is entrusted with the first over after the resumption, a move that delights the home crowd, who are well aware of the experienced paceman's problems with the ball in this series, only three wickets thus far.

TEA: ENGLAND 128-2 STRAUSS 57, BELL 8

1512: Warne spins one in sharply from way outside off-stump, reminiscent of Edgbaston, but Strauss is aware of the danger and clips it for a single, England's lead at the tea break 270.

1511: He dances down the pitch to reach the ball on the full toss and smashes it through mid-on for another boundary.

1510: Strauss is on the front foot to sweep Warne away through mid-wicket for four, recording his first fifty of the series off 89 balls.

1505: Bell gets underneath an attempted pull off Lee but it loops over the close fielders and short of the men on the ropes and they take a single.

1502: Warne perplexes Bell yet again with more dramatic turn, rapping him on the back pad bang in front, but the ball pitched well outside the leg stump.

1459: Strauss recovers his confidence against the short one from Lee, the ball a perfect height for him to rock back and pull it away, and it clears the ropes at deep square for a maximum.

1457: With the field having to spread to protect the boundaries, there is no gully and Strauss gets a thick edge through that area to record a 250 lead for England.

1453: Warne beats Bell's outside edge with a sharp leg-spinner then almost bowls him around his pads as Bell tries to sweep.

1451: The threat of rain appears to have passed and the sun is out again, England striving to set a total to have maximum time at the Australians on the flat wicket.

1443: Bell is pole-axed by one that nipped back and caught him in an awkward place, the ball dropping onto the leg-stump quite heavily but somehow not dislodging the bails.

1440: Lee tests Bell with a bouncer that the young batsman thinks of hooking, then realises it is too wide of off-stump and helps it into the off-side, the ball landing conveniently between the fielders.

1438: Another fierce, persistent appeal for lbw from Warne prompts merely a sorrowful shake of the head from umpire Bucknor.

1436: Having been reminded by the Australian fielder that quick runs are needed, Bell pushes Warne away for a single to bring up the 100 in the 27th over of the innings.

1433: England opt to retain their usual batting order and send Ian Bell in, then decide to stay on the field when offered the choice by the umpires with rain falling quite steadily.

WICKET: ENGLAND 97-2 VAUGHAN C SUB (HODGE) B LEE 14

1430: Looking to accelerate the scoring, Vaughan pulls Lee but spoons it upwards and Hodge races across the fine-leg boundary to take an excellent catch.

1428: Drops of rain in the air threaten to spoil a fascinating contest.

1427: Lee returns, in preference to the unfortunate Gillespie, who has had more success with his batting than with the ball. Vaughan clips him through mid-wicket but there is a man guarding the boundary now.

1426: He clips a single through the leg side, and Warne tells him: "Don't get too far across Straussy!" Presumably not meant as helpful advice.

1425: Strauss is able to punch a short one off the back foot for two, Gillespie retrieving the ball and barracked throughout by the crowd.

1419: Away from Warne, Strauss is happy to latch on to a short one from McGrath and help it safely to the mid-wicket boundary.

1416: Warne is still trying for a repeat of the magical ball that bowled Strauss at Edgbaston, but after attempting a cut and making no contact, the left-hander is able to push forward and squeeze a single into the off-side.

1411: Although there is still some sun, one half of the ground over the pavilion is covered with ominous charcoal grey cloud, as drinks are taken.

1409: A Vaughan slice slips through Gillespie's fingers on the third man fence to hand the England captain four, prompting howls of derision from the enthusiastic crowd.

1407: Warne deceives Vaughan, who stops his push into the off side, looping the ball up to mid-off, but sub fielder Hodge is honest after completing his lunge, and instantly says the ball did not carry.

1403: Vaughan moves outside the line of off-stump as McGrath comes in to bowl, then whips him through mid-wicket, pushing hard for two.

1402: A rare half volley from McGrath is neatly pushed through the leg side gap by Strauss, but Damien Martyn hauls it in and restricts the England batsman to three.

1359: Vaughan takes a big stride down the wicket to Warne but the ball tucks him up into the pads, prompting a few choice words from the spin wizard, which perhaps fortunately are not picked up by the stump microphone.

1356: McGrath tempts Vaughan with a wide one outside off-stump, but the England skipper's drive makes no contact.

1352: Warne's sharp turn is disconcerting for Vaughan but he turns the final ball against the spin through a gap at mid-wicket for a boundary.

1349: The England skipper is soon away with a nudge into the leg side for a single.

1347: New man Michael Vaughan looks to get off the mark with an elegant back foot force but Matthew Hayden swoops on it in the gully.

WICKET: ENGLAND 64-1 TRESCOTHICK B MCGRATH 41

1345: McGrath's luck changes as Trescothick's defensive shot spins back and dislodges a solitary bail.

1340: Warne resorts to a prolonged appeal, conducted solo in the latter stages, for a bat/pad catch, but it does not impress umpire Bucknor or the vociferous home crowd.

1337: Warne returns to try and stem the flow of runs, with England having added 33 in the six overs since lunch, but his first ball is short and Trescothick smashes it off the back foot through the leg side for four.

1333: Lee over-steps for the third time in the innings and opts to go round the wicket, but a short and wide one is deftly helped over the slips to the vacant third man area for four by Trescothick.

1330: Trescothick brings up the England fifty in the 13th over with a firm push through mid-on for four, then is beaten by a no-ball that rose up sharply off a length.

1325: Lee peppers the beleagured Strauss with more short ones, but the opener safely ducks under them, then when he gets a short one with width, he crashes a fierce cut that slams into the fence.

1322: Trescothick is not in control of a push outside the off-stump off McGrath, but escapes with two through the gully as the ball glides off the face of the bat.

1318: A misfield from sub Brad Hodge does little to improve the mood of Lee, who receives some "cheerful" banter from the crowd when he returns to his fielding position, but Trescothick refuses the chance of a second run.

1316: The powerful left-hander is quick to another short one and pulls it away for another boundary.

1315: Lee is preferred to Warne but his first ball is superbly punched away off the back foot for four by Trescothick.

1313: Trescothick completes an over costing six with a controlled edge through the gully for three.

1310: McGrath resumes with a rare loose one on the leg stump that Strauss is able to clip away neatly for a welcome single.

1252: On the Ashes log, Niall writes: "Unfortunately for England the weather is now against them. In the past it would have saved them from the situation Australia are in today. Now, it is robbing them of valuable time. However, given the series so far, anything can happen."

LUNCH: ENGLAND 26-0 TRESCOTHICK 12 STRAUSS 10

1229: Having this time not been deceived by Lee's slower ball, which in any case was well wide of the off-stump, Strauss is grateful for a quick single off the glove against the paceman.

1226: As expected Warne finds some sharp turn into the left-hander, but Trescothick is equal to it in the early stages, and works the final ball into the leg side for two to record 5,000 Test runs.

1223: A key moment as Warne is brought into the attack.

1222: Lee is livid and rips in again with an agrressive grunt after the delivery, Strauss compounding his anger with a controlled edge through the gully that brings four more to the scoreboard.

1219: A shaken Strauss offers a routine edge from the combative Lee, which bisects first and second slip, Warne and Ponting leaving it to each other and the ball whistling through to the boundary.

1215: Good running again from a thick inside edge by Trescothick allows two to be taken from the parsimonious McGrath, as England seek to overcome a testing opening barrage from the Australians.

1211: Trescothick breaks the shackles with a forceful slash at a wide one that crashes to the square cover fence, then plays a more authoritative push off the back foot that brings him three more.

1210: The erratic Lee, finding some impressive pace and bounce from the placid pitch, fires one at Trescothick's throat, but the opener is able to glove the ball down short of the fielder at backward square.

1205: Having been patched up and fitted with a new grill, Strauss edges the first ball of the resumption from McGrath but the edge falls short of Ricky Ponting at second slip.

1200: Strauss, struck on the helmet by Lee shortly before his dismissal in the first innings, is pinged again by the Aussie paceman when attempting to hook, blood seeping from his ear in grizzly Hitchcock-fashion.

1153: Trescothick signals his intentions by running a quick single from the first ball bowled by McGrath, who maintains his usual teasing line outside the off-stump, Australia copying England with an unorthodox short mid-off almost on the edge of the pitch.

On the TMS messageboard Rich Albey says: "No wonder we always got beat!! Graham Gooch - mindset, it's going to be close. No it's not. We'll get 200+, and bowl them out. That's how Michael Vaughan, Freddie et al think. I think it makes a difference."

INNINGS BREAK:

WICKET: AUSTRALIA 302 GILLESPIE LBW B JONES 26

1142: Jones finally ends the defiance of Gillespie, nipping one back to trap him in front and umpire Bucknor satisfied that the ball was not too high. After the dismissal, Gillespie and McGrath sprint off the field in unsual fashion to the pavilion, perhaps keen to show England they are keen to get at them.

1140: Gillespie changes his approach dramatically with a stunning pull for six off Jones, bringing up the 300 and prompting England to call for the new ball.

1136: Harmison replaces the ineffective Giles at the Statham End and tries a useful yorker, but there is no way past Gillespie's defiant blade.

1130: Jones tests out Gillespie with some full and fast deliveries, but the master blocker shows no let up and sees it through to drinks.

1127: Giles is noticeably struggling to provide sufficient variation from over the wicket as the last two Australian batsmen play him with ease.

WICKET: AUSTRALIA: 293-9 LEE C TRESCOTHICK B JONES 1

1120: The move proves successful as Jones claims a richly deserved five-wicket haul, forcing the edge from Lee and Trescothick taking an excellent diving catch to his left at wide slip.

1119: Even though the new ball is due, England persist with Jones bowling with the old one, hoping for reverse swing, and he continues to unsettle Lee with some fierce short ones, interspersed with some full ones.

1118: No success for Giles, even with the assistance of the rough, as Gillespie's metronomic forward defensive lunge keeps him at bay.

1113: Misfortune for Jones when Lee gets an inside edge that canons into his pad rather than the timbers.

1108: Giles is given a try against Gillespie, who lofts him fractionally wide of a sprawling Matthew Hoggard at mid-off.

1105: The aggressive Jones produces a fine delivery that jags back into new man Brett Lee and raps him on the glove, but is given a second warning by umpire Bucknor for running into the danger zone on the wicket.

WICKET: AUSTRALIA 287-8 WARNE C GILES B JONES 90

1102: But the next ball brings success, Warne hammering another short one on the other side of the wicket but finding Ashley Giles on the deep square leg fence.

1100: Simon Jones is introduced, hoping to continue his record of striking immediately with a new spell, but his first ball is savagely cut for four by Warne, who moves into nineties.

1057: Gillespie extends his repertoire to an elegant straight drive off Harmison but is unfortunate to see the ball rattle into the stumps at the bowler's end.

1053: Flintoff, giving his all as ever, tests Gillespie with some quick deliveries angling back in, then tries round the wicket, but the angular tailender is playing perfectly straight and keeps everything out.

1047: Warne is fortunate to get an inside edge that goes past the leg stump off Harmison, giving him a single.

1044: Flintoff sends in an inswinging yorker but Gillespie is alive to it and is able to work it away for two runs, the big Lancastrian plagued by a series of no-balls in the early stages.

1040: An ambitious lbw appeal against Warne that was sliding well down the leg side is the best England could manage in that over.

1035: Steve Harmison is given the responsibility of bowling from the Statham End.

1034: With both batsmen adding to their scores, there is nothing to suggest that the Australians are in any trouble against England's best.

1032: Jason Gillespie gets a thick edge but it is played down and bounces well short of Marcus Trescothick in the solitary slip position.

1029: Rousing cheers can only mean that Freddie Flintoff is given first use of the ball as England desperately attempt to finish the Australian innings.

1020: The weather is a lot kinder today, with some fair weather cloud and plenty of blue sky around shortly before the start of the fourth day.

1009: Umpire Billy Bowden explains why just six overs were bowled in the final stanza on Saturday, and why play did not go on until 1900 BST after the rain had cleared. It is unclear if Bowden himself knows why, but he confirms that play will not go on beyond 1830 tonight.

On the Ashes log, Justin Contegiacomo writes: "I am stood in a pub with my England shirt on surrounded by 100 Australian students. Come on boys, don't let me down!"




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