December 27, 2002

Australia take key wickets after declaration

A wicket apiece for Australia's trio of fast bowlers consolidated their position of dominance at the end of the second day of the Melbourne Test. Justin Langer eventually reached a career-best 250 and Steve Waugh 77, while an unbeaten 62 from Martin Love contributed usefully to another awesome total of 551 for six before Waugh's declaration. By the close England had reached 97 for the loss of Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan and Mark Butcher.

Glenn McGrath made Australia's first breakthrough when Vaughan, after reaching 11 without apparent difficulty, got a bottom edge onto his stumps as he tried to force a delivery of the back foot.

Brett Lee then accounted for Trescothick, and was unfortunate not to dismiss Nasser Hussain as he reached 97 miles per hour in a hostile spell. Trescothick had made 37 and was threatening a major innings when he tried to avoid a short ball which brushed his glove on the way through to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.

Hussain survived a concerted appeal in Lee's next over when a delivery brushed his shoulder. The England captain also survived trial by television when he drove Stuart MacGill to mid-on, where Jason Gillespie appeared to take a low catch. Hussain was ruled not out when replays were inconclusive. However Gillespie had his own slice of good fortune when he removed Butcher lbw despite an inside edge.

Earlier Langer moved past his highest Test innings of 223 against India in Sydney three years ago. He would not have done so if Vaughan had held on to a straightforward catch at short extra cover off Craig White, allowing Langer to move on to 224. Eventually after hitting a six and 30 fours, he was dismissed two overs before the declaration, caught at short third man by Andrew Caddick off the expensive Richard Dawson.

England's first success of the morning was the wicket of Waugh, who had added 15 runs to his overnight total when he edged a lifting White delivery to James Foster. Martin Love was missed on 25 when he drove Mark Butcher to Vaughan at point, who again spilled the catch. Love had added 151 runs for the fifth wicket with Langer when he was finally dismissed. Gilchrist was then bowled heaving at Dawson to trigger the declaration.