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  Friday, 29 November, 2002, 11:52 GMT
England fail to pull it off
Nasser Hussain dismissed
Hussain was caught behind off an attempted hook

If England learned one lesson from a depressing opening to the third Ashes Test it was not to pull in Perth.

The pull and hook may be destructive shots when used at the right time, as Ricky Ponting showed in hooking Steve Harmison for a towering six on his way to an unbeaten 43 on day one.

But when used recklessly, they can lead to an early trip back to the pavilion, as three English batsmen and one Australian found on Friday.

The first victim was captain Nasser Hussain, apparently losing his balance as he hooked Aussie speedster Brett Lee and edging behind to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.

Michael Vaughan's dismissal shortly after lunch sparked another collapse, the opener gaining an outside edge as he looked to pull a delivery from well outside off-stump.

And veteran Alec Stewart fell to a similar shot, and the same combination of Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath, half an hour later, bottom-edging a pull.


You've got to try to occupy the crease for at least an hour
Allan Lamb
The hosts were not immune from the ill-timed cross-bat shot, though, as Matthew Hayden fell for 30 - his lowest score of the series so far - hooking Harmison to fine leg.

The Waca is famously one of the fastest wickets in world cricket, and that means extra bounce that a batsman needs to get used to quickly.

But Allan Lamb, a ferocious puller of the past, believes that England should have been ready for the different conditions.

"A bouncy wicket is always difficult to get used to," Lamb told BBC Sport Online.

"I would have liked them to have played their warm-up match in Perth just prior to this Test, rather than before the series began.

"But the Waca nets are quicker than the middle so they will have had some practice time to get used to it."

However, Lamb believes that England's pulling trio were not victims of technical problems but of poor shot selection.

"Once you have got yourself in on that wicket you can score off anything that is short or wide," he goes on.

"But you've got to try to occupy the crease for at least an hour and get your eye in before you try to pick up the pace."

Michael Vaughan heads back to the pavilion
Vaughan looked to pull a shot from outside off-stump
Hussain had been at the crease for just 11 minutes when he looked to bash Lee, his bowling speed averaging 92mph, for four.

Stewart lasted 34 minutes before he followed suit and Hayden just scraped past the hour mark.

Vaughan, though, had faced 79 deliveries in a 140-minute stay before he looked a little too hard for a third boundary.

But Lamb himself had his difficulties in Perth, even when he had a century in his sights in 1991, cut short for 91 when he was caught by slip Allan Border off Craig McDermott.

"I got out pulling a delivery that was too full," he recalls. "I could have cut it over the slips.

"But it just shows that you can easily get it wrong on bouncy wickets."

All the reports from the Test match

Day three

Day two

Day one

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