January 2, 2003

Butcher, Hussain show some fight as Aussies miss chances

SYDNEY, Jan 2 AAP - Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain made Australia pay for a raft of missed opportunities to steady England after a worrying start to the fifth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.

By tea on the opening day, the pair had steered the tourists to 2-150 with an unbroken partnership of 118.

Butcher was not out 67 and Hussain was on 57.

Both had survived dropped chances in the first session and Butcher was handed another life after lunch.

Australian legspinner Stuart MacGill spilled a straight forward caught and bowled chance off Hussain when he was on six with England floundering at 2-63.

Butcher was lucky on 13 when Damien Martyn got a hand to what would have been a spectacular catch off Andy Bichel's bowling.

On 43, Butcher edged a Jason Gillespie delivery which bounced in and out of Adam Gilchrist's gloves as the wicketkeeper stretched to his left.

Earlier, Gilchrist managed to hold an excellent catch, launching himself high to his left to dispose of Marcus Trescothick (19) off Bichel.

That dismissal left England in trouble at 2-32 after opener Michael Vaughan had been caught by Gilchrist off Brett Lee in the fourth over of the match for no score.

Bichel received treatment on the field for what appeared to be a dislocated left index finger after fielding Hussain off his own bowling.