January 4, 2003

Australia closes in on England


SYDNEY, Jan 4 AAP - Steve Waugh failed to add to his stunning century of yesterday but Adam Gilchrist took up the challenge as Australia closed in on England's first innings total in the fifth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.

At lunch on day three, Australia was 8-336 in reply to the tourists' 362.

Waugh, who resumed on 102 after hitting a four off the last ball yesterday to equal Sir Donald Bradman's record of 29 Test centuries, was out on the fifth ball he faced today.

He was caught at second slip by Mark Butcher off the bowling of Matthew Hoggard in the second over of the day.

Hoggard struck again when he had Andy Bichel caught by John Crawley for four and, with his next ball, had Brett Lee caught behind by Alec Stewart.

Jason Gillespie survived the next delivery to deny Hoggard the hat trick.

Gilchrist reached his century off just 94 deliveries to be not out 127 from just 116 balls at the break.

He was well supported by Gillespie, who remained unbeaten with 11 with the pair putting on a partnership of 69.