Australia continue domination of first Test
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:England v Australia
Player:RT Ponting, SM Katich, A Flintoff, MJ North, MJ Clarke
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 10th July 2009


Australia continued their domination of the first Ashes Test at Cardiff as Marcus North and vice-captain Michael Clarke built upon the double century stand by Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich early in their innings. Though Clarke fell victim late in the day, Australia are now 44 ahead and look promising for better things in the two days ahead.


England though started the day on a good note. James Anderson's double strike in the morning and Monty Panesar sending back Ponting in the first session made it look that Flintoff's rallying cry ahead of the third day was working. The right-arm pacer struck twice with the second new ball scalping left-handers Simon Katich and Mike Hussey (3) and then Monty Panesar cleaned up Ponting for 150 as England got vital breakthroughs heading into lunch on the third day.


Before the wickets fell, Ponting and Simon Katich carried their partnership to 239. As the new ball was still nine overs away, spinners were brought on to bowl by the English skipper. Both Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann leaked boundaries as they had absolutely no answer to Ponting's swift footwork. Finally after nine overs in the day, the new ball was taken and it paid dividends sooner as the hosts struck back and tasted success. The Aussies entered lunch on 348 for 4, trailing England by 87.


Anderson's morning spell today was worth 2 for 17 in seven overs, while Panesar recieved a timely boost, ending Ponting's masterclass shortly before lunch as a bottom edge crashed into the stumps. This flurry of wickets brought Michael Clarke and Marcus North on the pitch and they made sure Australia entered lunch without any further damage.


Oz had a plan in place for the second session. Both Clarke (83) and North started to grind the English bowling. The start was slow as North took a little time to get his bearings right but failure by the bowlers to apply sustained pressure over the batsmen for longer periods helped both the batsmen. They first settled down after the break and then cut loose in the last half an hour before tea.


Clarke looked perfect heir apparent to Ponting as he got down the track to both spinners in as good a style as his skipper. He hardly was disturbed by anything and made sure that North had his concentration going at a time when Swann was bowling in the rough. The right-hander brought up his 50 with a glorious cover driven four off Panesar and followed it up with another one in the next ball. Clarke was the one whose pulled boundary off flintoff brought up the Aussie lead and in the session between lunch and tea, the duo scored 110 runs in 31 overs.


Post tea, the game did not resume for a good hour and a half. It looked as if the game would be called off but rain stopped and the players were back on the ground. The happiness for spectators was shotlived though as after a few overs the spitting of rain drops began again, and this time the umpires called the end of day's play. The short period though gave England the much needed breakthrough as a terrific bouncer by Stuart Broad surprised Clarke who was in two minds over whether to pull or to defend. The ball got too big on him and he ended up gloving it to Prior.



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