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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 August 2005, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
England set Aussies record chase
Third Ashes Test, Old Trafford, day four (stumps):
England 444 & 280-6d v Australia 302 & 24-0

Andrew Strauss
It was important we capitalised on our position and it was nice to spend time out there
Andrew Strauss
Australia were set a world record 423 to win the third Test after a day of England domination highlighted by Andrew Strauss's maiden Ashes century.

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.

No team has ever scored more than 418 to win a Test match, while the record fourth-innings chase at Old Trafford is the 231-3 made by England against West Indies last year.

England opened at the start of the day with Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison, but both struggled for the right length and a succession of no-balls did not help.

Simon Jones
Jones is now England's joint leading wicket-taker in this series

But the introduction of Jones after three overs from Flintoff brought immediate rewards.

Warne cracked the Welshman's first delivery over extra cover for four, but next ball hooked a ball off his nose straight down the throat of Ashley Giles at deep mid-wicket.

Warne's disappointment was palpable, as might be expected.

A century continues to elude him after 174 innings and he retains the dubious honour of having the most Test runs without a ton, in excess of 500 runs ahead of Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas in second place.

England kept the new ball in the wrapper with Jones swinging the old one, and four overs later Brett Lee was on his way after Trescothick caught safely in slip, awarding Jones career-best figures.

But Michael Vaughan took it immediately after Jason Gillespie (26) had hoicked Jones for six, a rare attacking shot in his 111-ball vigil.

Shane Warne
Warne leaves the field after falling 10 short of a first Test ton

The move paid off three deliveries later as Jones nipped one into Gillespie and had him lbw, a strike that took Jones onto 12 for this Ashes series and level with Flintoff as England's leading wicket-taker.

Strauss, under severe pressure heading into the second innings, was given another stiff examination by Lee.

As in the first innings, he was struck on the helmet by a rapid bouncer trying to hook. And he again looked vulnerable outside off-stump, edging just in front of Ponting before bisecting first and second slip at catching height off Lee when on one.

Trescothick emerged from lunch intent on attack, driving and pulling for two fours in one Lee over. An uppercut to the fence followed, prompting Ponting to turn to Warne.

But it was McGrath who struck first, bowling Trescothick off a tentative forward defensive which spun back to end a knock which took the opener's career tally of Test runs past 5,000.

A thumping Strauss boundary over mid-wicket saw McGrath make way for Lee, who removed Vaughan thanks to sub fielder Brad Hodge's running catch at fine-leg.

Ian Bell
Bell was given two lives before hitting his second fifty of the game

All the while the lamentable figure of Gillespie remained in the outfield, where his main contribution was to mess up a regulation stop and gift England a boundary.

Bell was lucky to survive when he played Lee back onto his leg-stump but failed to dislodge the bails.

But Strauss, growing in confidence, pulled Lee for six before sweeping Warne to register his half-century.

Gillespie finally got his chance after tea, but he was quickly replaced by McGrath after four overs that leaked 23 runs

The move suited Bell, who clubbed two fours in one over from the frustrated paceman and later hoisted him over long-off for six.

The England rookie found the going harder against Warne, but two missed stumping chances by Adam Gilchrist kept him at the crease.

Strauss brought up his century with a pulled boundary before perishing to the same shot off McGrath, who then removed Kevin Pietersen (lbw first ball), Andrew Flintoff and Bell as England went for quick runs.

Two Geraint Jones (27 not out off 13 balls) sixes off McGrath over mid-wicket precipitated the declaration, leaving Australia with 40 potentially awkward minutes at the crease.

Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer survived, but a gargantuan task awaits both players and the rest of Australia on what promises to be a gripping final day.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England centurion Andrew Strauss


Interview: Glenn McGrath


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