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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 07:31 GMT
Aussies pile on agony for England
First Test, Brisbane, day three (close): Australia 602-9 dec & 181-1 v England 157

By Paul Grunill

Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer
McGrath took five wickets or more in an innings for the 29th time

Australia turned the screw in the first Ashes Test by building a lead of 626 after Glenn McGrath took 6-50 to dismiss England for 157 in Brisbane.

The home side opted not to enforce the the follow-on despite England trailing by 445 on first innings.

And Justin Langer (88) and Ricky Ponting (51) shared an unbroken stand of 113 to see them to 181-1 at stumps.

McGrath bowled superbly earlier in the day with only Ian Bell (50) offering prolonged resistance for England.

He hung on grimly for almost four hours before falling to Stuart Clark, who supported McGrath well for figures of 3-21.

Ashley Giles was the only other England batsman to pass 20 and when he was the last man out most people in the ground thought the follow-on decision was a formality.

Not so Ponting, who was clearly intent on grinding England into the turf.

Initially, it looked like Australia were in a hurry to put the tourists in again before the close as Hayden smashed three successive balls from Jimmy Anderson to the boundary.

606: DEBATE
Will

But the big left-hander gave his wicket away on 38 when he attempted a risky second run to Anderson at fine leg and was beaten by his throw to keeper Geraint Jones.

After that the game meandered along, prompting many spectators to head home early, as Langer coasted to his second half century of the match and Ponting knocked off a couple of personal milestones - 1,000 runs in the calendar year and 9,000 in Test cricket.

England's attack looked toothless but at least Steve Harmison's radar was more reliable than in the first innings, although he had to wait until the 13th over of the innings to be handed the ball.

Australia produced a typically ruthless performance in the field earlier in the day after McGrath and Brett Lee set the tone by bowling unchanged through the first hour and conceding only 30 runs from 13 high quality overs.

Pietersen was dropped by Stuart Clark at long-on when he top edged an attempted pull but McGrath's frustration soon turned to celebration when he won an lbw decision to send him on his way for 16.

Andrew Flintoff was caught behind
Flintoff looks back to see Adam Gilchrist take the catch

The England batsman did himself no favours by shouldering arms but TV replays suggested he was unlucky with the ball apparently going on to miss off-stump.

Flintoff poked uncertainly at his first ball without making contact, but there was no doubt about the edge from the third he faced which gave Adam Gilchrist a straightforward catch behind the stumps and Brett Lee his only wicket.

There was a moment of hilarity for some members of the crowd as a sweep from Geraint Jones felled umpire Bowden at square leg, striking him on the hip as he tried to turn his back on the ball.

England were 118-5 at lunch but were soon in the mire again as McGrath pinned Jones (19) on the back foot and won another lbw decision.

Bell reached his half century off 155 balls with a nudged single but then sliced the first delivery of a new spell from Clark to Ponting at slip.

Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison were both caught behind without troubling the scorer and England's innings came to an end when Giles (24) skied McGrath to Hayden at gully.



ENGLAND PLAYER PROFILES

 

AUSTRALIA PLAYER PROFILES

 


SEE ALSO
Bell promises England will fight
25 Nov 06 |  England
McGrath adds to England's misery
24 Nov 06 |  England
England suffer as Ponting shines
23 Nov 06 |  England


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