Ashes 2009: Clarke And North Pile On The Runs

Ashes 2009: Clarke And North Pile On The Runs
Ashes 2009: Clarke And North Pile On The Runs
©REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

England 435 (Pietersen 69, Collingwood 64) v
Australia 479-5 (Ponting 150, Katich 122)
First Test, Cardiff, day three: stumps

By Peter Exley

Marcus North and Michael Clarke both scored half-centuries as Australia moved ahead of England on day three of the opening Ashes Test in Cardiff, closing on 479 for five, 44 runs ahead.

Resuming on 249 for one, Australia looked to be continuing in the same vein of form that they showed yesterday. However, with the advent of the new ball, England looked a different team as James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff came roaring in.

Anderson was now swinging the ball and he fired in a swinging Yorker that trapped Simon Katich (122) plumb in front. Michael Hussey was welcomed to the crease with a barrage of bouncers from Flintoff, one of which struck him on the head. It was only a matter of time before Hussey departed, and he did so edging behind to Matt Prior from Anderson for three.

Ponting notched up his 150, however, that was all he would get as he looked to cut a short ball from Monty Panesar but only managed to under edge on to his stumps leaving Australia on 331 for four. England had dragged themselves back into the game with some impressive bowling.

It was left to Michael Clarke and Marcus North to see the tourists to lunch with them finishing on 348 for four at lunch with Clarke on 19 and North yet to score.

England would have had high hopes for the afternoon session after their improved bowling performance in the morning. However, Clarke and North had other ideas and the Australia vice-captain registered his half century as his side passed four hundred and then England’s first innings score of 435.

Marcus North joined his vice-captain becoming another half centurion as Australia continued to rack up the runs. England left the field for the tea interval looking very demoralised as Australia finished the session on 458 for four with Clarke (83) and North (54 not out).

A two-hour rain delay after tea saw the players resume with the match recommencing under floodlights for the first time in British Test history and although England were successful ni having Clarke caught behind as he tried to pull a Stuart Broad bouncer, the rain returned to end proceedings with North and Brad Haddin (four not out) looking solid in defence.

© Cricket World 2009