Australia pile pressure on England

By Matthew Sherry

David Warner and Michael Clarke hit centuries to leave England with a mountain to climb to avoid defeat in the opening Ashes Test.

The hosts – having resumed their second innings on 65 for none, 224 ahead – endured a poor start to day three as Chris Rogers cut Stuart Broad to point for 16 before Chris Tremlett had Shane Watson taken at mid-on.

Yet Warner and Clarke responded in impressive style, putting on a 158-run partnership featuring an array of fine strokes.

Warner would eventually fall to Broad for 124 and Clarke to Graeme Swann for 113 but Brad Haddin provided late acceleration, with his near run-a-ball 53 ensuring Australia could declare on 401 for seven – 560 runs ahead.

Carrying that momentum into their bowling effort, Australia picked up early wickets as Ryan Harris fortuitously bowled Michael Carberry – the ball spinning back on to his stumps after a perfect defensive stroke – before Mitchell Johnson had Jonathan Trott caught in the deep.

The upshot was England ending a difficult day on 24 for two with Alastair Cook unbeaten on 11.

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Evening Session

Watch highlights of the evening session on day three at Brisbane

England 2nd Innings 

7.46am – STUMPS! England 24/2; Cook 11, Pietersen 3 – England reach the close without further damage but are still well adrift. Can they launch a stunning recovery? We’ll be here tomorrow to tell you.

7.28am – Glorious from Cook, who straight-drives Peter Siddle for four. Earlier, he just avoided being run out after Kevin Pietersen set off for a first-ball single

7.14am – WICKET! Trott c Lyon b Johnson 9; England 10/2 – Trott departs this time, clipping the left-arm paceman off his hip straight to Nathan Lyon at deep square-leg.

7.10am – Nervous stuff as Trott versus Mitchell Johnson starts again. The number three pulls four fine, misses another attempt at the shot and then top-edges a hook narrowly safe to end the over.

7.01am – WICKET! Carberry b Harris 0; England 1/1 – Very, very unfortunate. Carberry plays a perfect defensive stroke to Harris but can only watch as the ball spins back on to his stumps. Nightmare start for England.

6.55am – Wonderful delivery from Harris, who beats Carberry all ends up after a Cook leg-bye gets the scoreboard moving.

6.45am – Ooh, a tense moment in the opening over as Ryan Harris beats Cook with a beauty outside off stump.

6.41am – Here we go then! The riposte starts here; Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry head to the middle.

Australia 2nd Innings

6.31am – END OF INNINGS; Australia 401/7 declared; England require 561 to win – Well, that’s that then. Peter Siddle does a little damage to Tremlett’s figures with a four over mid-on before Michael Clarke calls his boys in. England face some mountain here.

6.25am – WICKET! Haddin c Anderson b Tremlett 53; Australia 395/7 – Tremlett picks up his third wicket as Haddin creams one straight to mid-off.

6.20am – FIFTY! Haddin (49b 5×4 0x6) – Half-centuries galore! A single brings Haddin his second fifty of the game in his 50th Test.

6.13am – Cricket can be a cruel game. After being edged over Matt Prior for four, Chris Tremlett can only watch on as Johnson whips him for six.

6.08am – The runs continue to flow for Australia as Mitchell Johnson gets in on the act.

5.47am – There’s some good fortune for Haddin, who top-edges Anderson over the wicketkeeper for another four. A single two balls later moves Australia’s lead to 500 and Haddin on to 40.

5.31am – Brad Haddin makes full use of the extra pace offered by the new ball, crunching James Anderson for three fours in an over.

5.19am – WICKET! Bailey b Swann 34; Australia 304/6 – Positive start to the final session for England as George Bailey plays inside a Graeme Swann delivery that cannons into off stump. 

Afternoon Session 

Watch highlights of the afternoon session from the Gabba

4.56am – TEA! Australia 299/5; Bailey 33, Haddin 1 – Another fine session for the hosts comes to an end. They now lead by 458.

4.49am – WICKET! Clarke b Swann 113; Australia 294/5 – A big heave across the line does for Clarke as he is castled by Swann. Stunning innings, though.

4.37am – REVIEW! – More frustration for England as Bailey survives an lbw shout. It’s sent upstairs but umpire’s call means the tourists lose a review.

4.24am – CENTURY! (113b 9×4 0x6) – Another man reaches three figures for the hosts, this time skipper Clarke. He brings up the milestone with a clipped two a couple of overs after Ian Bell drops Bailey at short-leg off Root.

4.16am – Big hit by George Bailey, who advances and crunches Root over midwicket for six.

3.58am – WICKET! Smith c Prior b Tremlett 0; Australia 242/4 – Chris Tremlett, bowling beautifully in this spell, picks up his second wicket as Steven Smith feathers behind.

3.42am – WICKET! Warner c Prior b Broad 124; Australia 233/3 – Fine response from Broad, who has the opener caught behind as his attempt to run the ball down to third man proves detrimental.

3.40am – Wowee! That’s the best of the lot. A full-length delivery from Stuart Broad is plundered for a straight six by Warner. Stunning.

3.29am – In the 11 overs since lunch, Australia have added 75 runs. Both batsmen look in great touch.

3.15am – Maximum for Clarke, who moves down the pitch and whips Swann over midwicket. Wonderful stroke.

3.04am – CENTURY! Warner (1b 11×4 0x6) – And now Warner reaches three figures, following up an edged four through the cordon off Anderson with a drive through the covers for three in the next over, bowled by Root.

2.56am – FIFTY! Clarke (65b 6×4 0x6) – Australia’s skipper brings up a fine half-century after Warner plays the shot of the day, crunching James Anderson back over his head for four.

2.48am – Australia have picked up where they left off as they continue to attack England. Michael Clarke and David Warner are both using their feet to great effect versus Graeme Swann and Joe Root.

2.40am – The action is about to recommence in Brisbane. But, first, I refer you to the below. Brilliant. 

Morning Session 

Watch highlights of the morning session from the Gabba on day three

2.01am – LUNCH! Australia 145/2; Warner 83, Clarke 34 – A session of two halves comes to an end with Australia well on top. It ended in slightly dramatic fashion as England called for a review believing Swann had hit Warner’s pad. He had not, with the ball locating bat only.

1.50am – Close! Graeme Swann raps Clarke on the pad and umpire Kumar Dharmasena gives it not out, a verdict that would have been upheld had England reviewed. It was umpire’s call on the replay.

1.47am – Another goes to the rope as Warner punches Tremlett down the ground. Cracking stroke.

1.40am – Australia are really charging, both Warner and Clarke peppering the boundary.

1.30am – Big moments in this game as Warner and Clarke threaten to seize control. Can England grab another wicket?

1.15am – Busy start from Clarke and Warner, who take a few singles off Broad and edge the score towards three figures.

1.06am – Watch the below quickly… The covers are off.

12.56am – RAIN STOPS PLAYS! Australia 94/2; Warner 51, Clarke 15 – The drizzle has got heavier and there will be a small break. I cannot see it lasting long.

12.53am  – FIFTY! Warner (73b 4×4 0x6) – We’ve hardly said his name this morning but Warner has reached his half-century with a straight punch for three.

12.49am – The Australia skipper has decided on a positive approach, hooking and pulling Broad for fours.

12.45am – Here we go then. Broad is into the attack and has Michael Clarke in his sights once more…

12.34am – WICKET! Watson c Broad b Tremlett 5; Australia 75/2 – Another breakthrough! Chris Tremlett is introduced, only to see his first delivery pulled to the fence by Watson. The number three attempts to repeat the trick later in the over but top-edges to Broad to mid-on.

12.27am – Clever field placing from Alastair Cook as Watson continues to hit the man at mid-on, who is very straight. Australia’s number three has one from 21 balls and David Warner is not setting the world alight either.

12.24am – Close call! James Anderson hits Shane Watson on the boot en route to his bat and England opt not to review. It proves the correct decision with the contact made outside the line of off stump. There’s a little drizzle in the air…

12.17am – Not too many signs of further wickets. England need to build upon their opening scalp.

12.04am – WICKET! Rogers c Carberry b Broad 16; Aus 67/1 – What a dream start! Stuart Broad, bowling the day’s second over, starts by sending down a short-and-wide long-hop and Chris Rogers cuts it straight to point.

Pre-Play News 

11.43pm – For Australia, the aim is lots and lots of runs. David Warner will resume on 45 and Chris Rogers 15. The former, in particular, has looked in fine fettle, although he could be tested by overcast conditions.

11.30pm – Hello and thanks for joining me for our coverage of day three of the opening Ashes Test. England face an uphill battle at the Gabba as they resume desperately seeking wickets with Australia 65 for none – 224 runs ahead – in their second innings.

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