Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strauss Ton Smashed Aussies

Skipper Andrew Strauss made his fabulous 18th Test ton to show England's progress in the second npower Ashes challenge at Lord's.

Strauss fĂȘted his century from the one before the last ball in pre tea session but for the loss of four wickets in the two hours either side of the second interval undermined a striking start.

England created their highest opening stand in opposition to Australia for 18 years to take indict of the first half of the day but they were fastened back at 302 for four when Paul Collingwood lamely picked out mid-on off infrequent left-arm spinner Michael Clarke.

Star batsman Kevin Pietersen corroded at the start of the evening session when a thin notch off Peter Siddle carried all the way through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Just as in Cardiff, where England snuck out of the back door with a draw, their failure to convert starts snowed under them as Ravi Bopara was outfoxed by Australia's bowler Ben Hilfenhaus.

But Strauss at least completed the century count in the series 1-4 with his unbeaten 119, after Cook fell five short.

The 196-run opening stand was eventually concluded by erratic left-armer Johnson with a full length delivery won a straightforward leg before appeal.

Bu the first-wicket coalition stand for the best start to a Lord's Test against the Australians and was the highest anywhere against them from the time when Michael Atherton and Graham Gooch's 203 in Adelaide in 1990-91.

To multifarious Australia's anguish, they lost spinner Nathan Hauritz from their attack after a return opportunity from Strauss made a confusion of his bowling hand, in addition to carrying a miscarrying Mitchell Johnson.

The entire momentum rally from escaping out of Cardiff with a draw appeared to have been carried down the M4 as Strauss' team conquered the morning after winning the toss.

Buoyed by key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff passing a fitness test on his wearisome right knee, England went through the morning session safe and sound.

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