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November 28, 2010
Partnership of the day
Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook's invaluable alliance was still in its early stages when, with the score on 23, they notched an unexpected mark in the annals of English Test history. With a chancy snick through a gap at third slip, Cook carried the pairing to the highest aggregate by any England opening partnership, eclipsing the figure of 3249 amassed by none other than Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe. In mitigation, those two legends racked up their runs in 38 innings rather than 82, and their average stand is more than double (87.81 to 42.68), but nevertheless, such a stat underlines the experience that they bring to England's top order.
Costly drop of the day, part one
Mitchell Johnson is a confidence player without much self-belief at the moment. After his 18-ball 0 on the third day, Johnson followed up with a crucial miss when Strauss was 69. Strauss tried to clear mid-off when he charged at Xavier Doherty and the ball went hard and over the head of Johnson, who looked like he had it under control but couldn't hold it. His head went down and the Australians sighed.
Costly drop of the day, part two
The problems for Australia continued after tea when Peter Siddle had a difficult diving chance, with Cook hooking Ben Hilfenhaus to fine-leg on 103. That one went to ground too - and for four. Jonathan Trott, on 34, was the next to benefit when Michael Clarke leapt at point and lost his grasp of the ball as his left-hand bumped the ground. On day three it was Australia who enjoyed the good fortune, but the roles have reversed.
Painful blow of the day
Simon Katich is the toughest player in the Australian side but the strength of a Cook cut eventually forced him off the field. Katich was at bat-pad when Marcus North came on to aim at the footmarks in the middle session, but a short one resulted in a fierce blow to Katich's ankle. While Katich didn't flinch or show any pain, he did start to limp shortly after and a couple of overs later left the field for treatment. He returned after tea in a little discomfort.
Dive of the day
Katich's absence provided a chance for an understudy to shine, and the Queensland veteran Lee Carseldine didn't disappoint. At the age of 35, his hopes of a Test debut are slim to say the least, but he did his best to give the impression that he's still a spring chicken with a desperate diving save on the deep cover boundary. With a full-frontal swallow-dive and a clatter of boundary-board, he clawed the ball back into play to cut off a certain four. It wasn't quite up there as a Gary Pratt moment, but he did his bit to keep the team's pecker up.
Yelp of the day
With lunch approaching and England's partnership going strong, any viewers back in Blighty who had been tempted into a quick power-nap found themselves being jolted violently back to reality by a piercing yelp from the Sky Sports commentary box. The yelpee was none other than the usually ice-cool David Gower, whose mellifluous flow was painfully interrupted when his sidekick Nasser Hussain parked a chairleg squarely on his toe.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo and Peter English is Australasian editorFeeds: Andrew Miller
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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