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Saturday, 18 August, 2001, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
Dazzling Stewart remains optimistic
Alec Stewart smashes Brett Lee to the boundary
Stewart was left unbeaten after a fine knock of 76
Two men shone above the rest on an eventful third day in the fourth Test between England and Australia at Headingley.

With the bat, Stewart scored a brilliant unbeaten 76 to help his side avoid the follow-on and reach their highest score of the Ashes series so far.

And Glenn McGrath was once again the master of the ball claiming his seventh scalp of the match - he also achieved the milestone of 350 wickets.

Stewart admitted his innings was an unusual one and said it was crucial for England to begin well on Sunday.

"It's already got away, but if we can take early wickets we can stay in striking distance," he said.

"There were a few shots which were not in the coaching manual. They would have been more at home at Wimbledon."

Glenn McGrath enjoys claiming the wicket of Nasser Hussain
McGrath grabs the scalp of the England skipper

The former England skipper added he was not entirely happy at being asked to bat at number seven for the first time in his Test career.

"I have always made no secret of the fact I like batting up the order," he said.

"I started out as an opener and I have gradually worked my way down to seven.

"It's disappointing. But if I am asked again I will not refuse. It was a new experience."

Meanwhile, McGrath stamped his status as the world's top fast bowler after taking his 21st five-wicket haul in his 74th Test.

The Australian paceman took his series tally to 24 wickets and the career haul to 350 - five short of the countryman Dennis Lillee's 355 wickets in 70 tests.

"It's taken me 10 Tests to get from 300 to 350 wickets," McGrath said.

"It's great to get past goals, milestones... whatever you want to call it, 350 is important.

"Passing Dennis Lillee is even more important. That's my next personal goal now. DK was always my hero and it will be a huge honour."

See also:

18 Aug 01 |  The Ashes
England tactically confused
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