December 28, 2002

England in trouble at 7-185 - lunch day three


MELBOURNE, Dec 28 AAP - Australia snared four wickets before lunch here today to pile the pressure on England in the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG.

The tourists were 7-185 on day three, needing another 166 runs to make Australia bat again after the home side declared its first innings yesterday at 6 (dec)-551.

Craig White smashed two sixes off leg-spinner Stuart MacGill and was the top-scorer with 36, while James Foster had made eight.

MacGill, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee had two wickets apiece.

The large block of English fans in the crowd predictably had a loud reception for Lee when he bowled the first over of the morning.

Lee's team-mate Justin Langer called them a "disgrace" yesterday for chanting "no ball" every time the paceman bowled.

So the Barmy Army did so even louder today for Lee's first few deliveries.

Lee responded with another scorching spell of pace bowling, trapping Robert Key for a second-ball duck after MacGill removed nightwatchman Richard Dawson for the first wicket of the day.

Nasser Hussain then tried to sweep MacGill on 24, but only managed an inside edge onto his pad.

Short leg Matthew Hayden dived across the pitch to take a great catch, with Hussain unwilling to walk.

John Crawley combined with White for a stand of 59, before Crawley tried to pull Gillespie from off stump and ballooned a catch to Langer at mid-wicket.