England v Australia, 4th Test, Headingley, 2nd day August 8, 2009

Silencing Stuart

Making a statement

Bringing up hundreds with a six has become a popular method for new Australian batsmen this year. Phillip Hughes started the trend in Durban during his second Test and Marcus North continued it at Headingley by slog-sweeping Graeme Swann to midwicket to leap from 96 to 102. North had already ripped off his helmet and raised his bat before the ball landed in the stands. It was his third century in his sixth match.

Almost a hat-trick

Ben Hilfenhaus was a couple of centimetres away from three wickets in a row when Ian Bell pushed at a perfectly delivered outswinger - and just missed. It was a stunning over from Hilfenhaus, who started by taking Andrew Strauss lbw when he played back and was hit on the left leg. Ravi Bopara went to the same dismissal but there was debate over whether the ball hit bat or pad first, and if it struck him outside off stump. While Bopara moped back, Hilfenhaus and the Australians whooped. It wasn't long before some England supporters in the Western Terrace were singing: "We're s*** and we're 1-0 up." Not for long.

Silencing Stuart

Stuart Broad was feeling perky after bowling Peter Siddle with a fine delivery that clipped the top of off so he started chatting to Stuart Clark. Not the best decision. Clark is a powerful swinger and, having warmed up by launching Graeme Swann over the sightscreen, he pulled a Broad short ball into the crowd. It could have been a fluke, so Broad tried another one with his next effort and suffered the same result. That kept Broad quiet, but he did return in the following over to collect his fifth wicket when Clark played on trying another heave.

Freddie watch

No sign of the great man here today but a plane reminded everyone of his predicament. "Get well soon Freddie," it read. The longer this game goes the more England will be desperate to have him fit for the final Test at The Oval.

Angry Anderson

It hasn't been the best game from James Anderson. His first run left him with a sore hamstring on Friday and it seemed to hamper him at times on the second day. Another bruise came when Michael Clarke fired a straight drive at him and it thudded into his shin, deviating so much it ended up at wide mid-off and the batsmen ran two. His figures of 0 for 89 from 18 overs didn't soothe any pains.

Baby bonus

He's had one only opportunity on tour but Andrew McDonald is back on track for a moving delivery. McDonald left Leeds on Friday night to fly home for the birth of his first child in Melbourne and the 28-year-old is not due back until Thursday. It's unlikely he'll be needed for the final Test at The Oval but he may be called on for the two-day match against the England Lions in Kent next weekend. McDonald took four wickets and scored 107 runs in two innings against Northampton in the lead-up to the third Test.

Fancy band

Saturday was dress-up day at Headingley and the winner at the ground was a Kiss tribute act. They received their prize a few metres away from where Geoffrey Boycott and Ian Botham had been inducted into the ICC's Hall of Fame. Unsurprisingly, Boycott was given the loudest ovation of the award winners.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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