England fight to save opener

2010-11-27 10:30
Mike Hussey (AP Photo)
Brisbane - England were battling to save going one down in the Ashes series after Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin posted centuries to give Australia a massive innings lead in the first Gabba Test on Saturday.

Hussey registered his highest Test score of 195 and Haddin contributed 136 in a Gabba record stand of 307 runs to propel Australia to a 221-run innings lead on the third day.

England, who have not won a Brisbane Test since Mike Gatting's team prevailed by seven wickets in 1986, reached the close at 19 without loss with Andrew Strauss on 11 and Alastair Cook six.

Australia rammed home an early psychological advantage by keeping England toiling in the field for 158.4 overs and almost 12 hours before they got their second turn batting.

The leviathan sixth-wicket partnership ended 20 minutes after tea when Haddin was snapped up by Paul Collingwood at first slip off spinner Graeme Swann for 136.

The belligerent stand, spread over six and a half hours, trumped the previous Gabba record partnership of 276 between Don Bradman and Lindsay Hassett for the third wicket against England in 1946-47.

It also ranked as the 12th highest stand in Ashes Tests and the fifth best in Australia.

Hussey surpassed his previous highest Test score of 182 against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2006.

He more than justified the selectors' faith to register his 12th Test century and ended a lean trot since his last hundred (134 no) against Pakistan in Sydney last January, 14 Test innings ago.

Hussey was finally out when he pulled Finn to Cook at deep square leg ending an eight-hour 330-ball vigil with 26 fours and a six.

It was Haddin's third Test century and second against England and came in 398 minutes with 16 fours and one six.

Haddin brought up his hundred with a flourish by slamming Swann over his head for six.

It was deflating day for England, who began promisingly and had little luck in the extended morning session, but fell away under the onslaught from the Aussie pair.

James Anderson put down Haddin on 113 in Stuart Broad's 29th over after the wicketkeeper had given an earlier chance on 63 when Cook could not take a running catch at long-off from Collingwood's bowling.

The tourists' fielding became ragged and there were several fumbles in the field as the Aussie pair continued to pick runs off their bowlers.

The runs began flowing after an excruciating morning for the Australian pair with Hussey, in particular, having an lbw dismissal against him overruled by referral as England made use of the second new ball.

Hussey on 82 referred to the third umpire after he was given out lbw to Anderson in the third over of the second new ball.

Replays showed that Anderson's delivery was pitching just outside leg-stump and umpire Aleem Dar's decision was overruled and Hussey survived.

Hussey had another 'life' on 85 when an Anderson delivery appeared to hit his pads in front, but England had no referrals left to challenge much to skipper Strauss's disappointment.

Finn, the 21-year-old Middlesex giant, finished with a Test best of 6-125 off 33.4 overs to help clean up the Australian tail.

Finn bowled Mitchell Johnson for a duck, had Peter Siddle caught by Swann for six and debutant Xavier Doherty caught in the deep for 16.


England 1st innings: 260 (I. Bell 76, A. Cook 67; P. Siddle 6-54)

Australia 1st innings (220 for 5 overnight):

S. Watson c Strauss b Anderson 36

S. Katich c and b Finn 50

R. Ponting c Prior b Anderson 10

M. Clarke c Prior b Finn 9

M. Hussey c Cook b Finn 195

M. North c Collingwood b Swann 1

B. Haddin c Collingwood b Swann 136

M. Johnson b Finn 0

X. Doherty c Cook b Finn 16

P. Siddle c Swann b Finn 6

B. Hilfenhaus not out 1

Extras (b4 lb12 w4 nb1) 21

Total (all out, 158.4 overs) 481

Fall of wickets: 1-78 (Watson), 2-96 (Ponting), 3-100 (Katich), 4-140 (Clarke), 5-143 (North), 6-450 (Haddin), 7-458 (Hussey), 8-462 (Johnson), 9-472 (Siddle), 10-481 (Doherty)

Bowling: Anderson 37-13-99-2 (1w), Broad 33-7-72-0 (1w, 1nb), Swann 43-5-128-2, Finn 33.4-1-125-6, Collingwood 12-1-41-0 (2w)

England 2nd innings:

A. Strauss not out 11

A. Cook not out 6

Extras (lb1 nb1) 2

Total (0 wkt, 15 overs) 19

Bowling: Hilfenhaus 6-3-6-0, Siddle 4-2-7-0 (1nb), North 2-0-5-0, Johnson 2-2-0-0, Doherty 1-1-0-0

Toss: England

Umpires: Billy Doctrove (WIS), Aleem Dar (PAK)

TV Umpire: Tony Hill (NZL)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

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