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  Saturday, 9 November, 2002, 07:35 GMT
Aussies tighten grip
Jason Gillespie took two wickets for Australia
Alec Stewart looks back in anguish after playing on
First Test, Brisbane, day three:
Australia 492 & 111-2 (at close); England 325

Australia regained the upper hand in the first Ashes Test as England's lower order frailty resurfaced again.

After being outplayed on the second day in Brisbane, the home side secured a 167-run first innings lead with some impressive seam bowling and extended it to 278 by the close on day three.

With injured Simon Jones unable to bat, England reached 268 for three before losing their last six wickets for 57 during the afternoon session despite John Crawley's unbeaten 69.

Andy Caddick picked up two wickets with the new ball, but Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn prevented further loss and Australia look a good bet for victory with the wicket beginning to deteriorate.

Double blow

England's fans cheer on their team
The Barmy Army provided noisy support for England
Glenn McGrath returned figures of four for 87 for the home side after claiming his 100th wicket in Ashes Tests during the morning.

England began the day on 158 for one, but lost overnight pair Mark Butcher and Marcus Trescothick in the same McGrath over following a stand of 121.

Butcher fell for 54 as an attempted drive was clutched by Matthew Hayden at gully and Trescothick followed for 72 five balls later when an outside edge was gathered safely by second slip Ricky Ponting.

Nasser Hussain and Crawley rebuilt the innings, although the England captain was lucky on 18 when umpire Rudi Koertzen turned down a confident bat-pad appeal from Shane Warne.

TV replays indicated the ball had struck the glove, and Hussain went on to make 51 before a magnificent leg-cutter from Jason Gillespie had him caught behind.

Rapid decline

John Crawley played solidly for England
Crawley ran out partners after hitting eight fours
Alec Stewart played on second ball and worse was to come as Craig White suffered a mental aberration by padding up to a straight ball from McGrath and was bowled for 12.

Andy Bichel weighed in with the wickets of Ashley Giles and Caddick before Warne brought the innings to an end with his first success, dismissing Matthew Hoggard for four.

Langer was quick to put away anything loose at the start of Australia's second innings before Caddick removed him for 22 and then produced a near unplayable delivery to dismiss Ponting.

Hayden was more watchful than in his first innings 197, however, and with Martyn showing good technique in support, they both reached 40 not out to put Australia in a commanding position.


England: Nasser Hussain (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Mark Butcher, John Crawley, Alec Stewart (wkt), Craig White, Simon Jones, Ashley Giles, Andy Caddick, Matthew Hoggard.

Australia: Steve Waugh (capt), Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Darren Lehmann, Adam Gilchrist, Jason Gillespie, Shane Warne, Andrew Bichel, Glenn McGrath.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew
"Crawley deserves credit for his fighting innings"
England's not-out batsman John Crawley
"You have to perform well every ball"
Australia's Glenn McGrath
"We're not underrating England"
All the reports from the Test match

Day four

Day three

Day two

Day one

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