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England edge themselves nearer to a whitewash
Warne's 71 gives Australia a vital lead (04:07)
January 4, 2007
Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 3rd day
England edge themselves nearer to a whitewashJanuary 4, 2007
Once again England have squandered opportunities. It seems that every time in this series when the match is evenly poised and there's an opportunity to take an advantage in the match one team goes ahead and the other one wilts. And every time in this series its been the Australians who have forged ahead and the English have wilted.
Today the English got into a position by getting the early wicket they wanted - Michael Hussey, a beautiful delivery from James Anderson. So it was the ideal start with Hussey back in the pavilion, but England once again weren't able to push home the advantage. There was a period where Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne went berserk. Then there was an opportunity to run Warne out on 14, terrific piece of fielding and thinking by Alastair Cook, he threw to Warne's end when they were going for two knowing that Warne was the slower of the two runners, but where's the bowler - Sajid Mahmood? The batsmen have run two and there's no excuse for the bowler not being back at the stumps.
Warne has done it so often; this was a repeat of some of his innings in the Ashes series. He got a wonderful ovation when he walked on to the SCG. 40 odd thousand people, standing to applaud him and I think that was a tribute because this ground has appreciated spin bowling. I have seen some wonderful sights here in Sydney with crowds applauding good deliveries from spinners and I think it was there thanks to Shane Warne. And he responded with his first ever half century in a test match, he helped Australia to that 100 lead.
Andrew Strauss and Cook, the Australians have worn them down. Cook, one of his favourite shots, it was a tentative attempt at playing the pull shot - skied it straight up in the air. Strauss got a terrible blow on the head from a pace-y delivery from Brett Lee, all credit to him he got up and in fact he came back and attacked Lee. But eventually he was out in the 20s once again. Then Ian Bell, he worked hard for a while, and then he got totally frustrated and played a really poor shot. Kevin Pietersen came in with the top 3 gone, he couldn't get his timing or his placement, but to his credit he kept fighting.
Stuart Clark has been amazing for Australia. Whenever they need a wicket he's the man who comes along. Rolled his fingers on one to Paul Collingwood, just slowed the ball a little, and got a little bit of a leg cut - Bang! It was edged away, good catch taken by Mathew Hayden. Once again, England contribute to their own problems. Andrew Flintoff a little lazy after being beaten by a good one from Warne, couldn't get his foot back quick enough and was alertly stumped by Gilchrist and all hope of any miracle was gone as the captain walked back to the pavilion. Monty Panesar was sent in as the night watchman a big opportunity for him, hope he can realize it tomorrow. But all hope gone for England of avoiding the 5-0 defeat, they've said all the right things throughout the series, but out on the field they haven't done all the right things, that's why they are in such big trouble at the SCG.
Feb 11, 2007 England deserved the win and this victory has done wonders not just for them but for the others teams as well (06:34)
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