Aussies on top after day two

Australia came up with the perfect game plan on day two of the third Test. Initially strangling England with some tight consistent bowling, and then by consolidating with the bat.

Australia finished day two with a lead of 148 runs, with nine second innings wickets in hand. The not out batsman were Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting both finishing with 57 in a team total of 119-1.

England made a dream start to the hosts second innings, with Matthew Hoggard bowling Justin Langer with the first ball of the innings. Unfortunately for England apart from Monty Panesar the attack looked listless, almost to the point of simply going through the motions.

England resumed today at 51-2, but were quickly in trouble with Glenn McGrath dismissing the inform Paul Collingwood brilliantly caught by Hayden in the gully.

Possibly the turning point of the match occurred when a well set Andrew Strauss was given out caught at the wicket from the bowling of Stuart Clark for 42 (82-4). Replays suggested that he did not make contact with his bat.

After this contentious decision things really went against the English team, with the recalled Andrew Symonds claiming the prized wicket of Andrew Flintoff and backing this up with the scalp of the out of form Gerard Jones. This reduced England to 114-6.

With only the bowlers for company Kevin Pietersen played a great cameo of an innings, striking a number of boundaries despite the fact that Australia had six fieldsman patrolling the fence.

Pietersen eventually fell for 70 glorious runs, and apart from a last wicket stand of 40 between Panesar and Steve Harmison, the rest of the second day belonged to the home team.

With Flintoff looking a little tentative on his injured ankle and Sajid Mahmood struggling, England seem to have the task ahead if they are to remain in the hunt for the Urn.

Australia 244
Mike Hussey 74*
Monty Panesar 5-92, Steve Harmison 4-48

England 215
Kevin Pietersen 70, Andrew Strauss 42
Stuart Clark 3-49, Andrew Symonds 2-8

Australia 119-1
Matthew Hayden 57*, Ricky Ponting 57*

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