Fri, Jan 14, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Strauss hits third century of series

MAN OF THE MOMENT Johannesburg-born Andrew Strauss stood his ground yesterday with a majestic century for England against South Africa at Wanderers

AGENCIES , JOHANNESBURG, MELBOURNE AND DOHA

England's Marcus Trescothick ducks a bouncer by South Africa's Shaun Pollock in Johannesburg yesterday during the first day of the fourth Test.

PHOTO: AFP

Andrew Strauss completed his third century of the series yesterday as England reached 187-1 against South Africa at tea on the opening day of the fourth Test at The Wanderers.

The Johannesburg-born left-hander batted majestically to reach a chanceless 107, with Robert Key at the other end on 57 after a 142-run stand.

It was also Strauss' fifth Test hundred in 11 Tests.

The touring side, choosing to bat in humid conditions and on a pitch expected to favor seam bowling early on, were given a torrid time by Shaun Pollock but Andrew Strauss hit back.

England's openers saw off the new ball, which was shared by Pollock and Makhaya Ntini, and looked unruffled despite playing and missing repeatedly.

Two balls after the drinks interval Steyn struck, Trescothick feathering behind for an unconvincing 16. He faced 47 balls.

Steyn, who played in the first two Tests in Port Elizabeth and Durban, had been left out in favor of seamer Charl Langeveldt for the third Test in Cape Town.

But he returned when Lange-veldt fractured his hand and opened with four maidens as well as his wicket. He reached the break with one wicket for 14 from seven overs.

Pollock had deserved more from his opening burst of seven overs for 18 but was punished whenever he strayed, Strauss cutting and driving him for four boundaries.

South Africa also brought back wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, with struggling batsman Hashim Amla left out. AB de Villiers, who kept wicket in the last two Tests, was selected as a batsman.

England opted for swing bowler James Anderson instead of fast bowler Simon Jones in their only change. Michael Vaughan won the toss for the first time in the series.

The five-match series is level at 1-1.

Australia vs West Indies preview

Australia captain Ricky Ponting says the world champions are paying little attention to ICC Champions Trophy winners West Indies ahead of today's triangular one-day series opener between the two sides.

"We are not really worried too much about opposition teams, or focus too much on them," Ponting told a news conference at Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.

"If we look after our own skills and plans tomorrow, then everything should fall into place," he said.

Ponting led his country to World Cup glory in March 2003 and two months later Australia beat West Indies in a one-day tournament in the Caribbean.

The Australian skipper said Michael Clarke had recovered from a foot injury and was likely to open the batting with Adam Gilchrist in the absence of Matthew Hayden, who has been rested.

Batsman Simon Katich missed yesterday's training session with a throat infection.

"If Katich doesn't come up, [all rounders] Shane Watson and Brad Hogg can both play in the same side," Ponting said.

"Clarke wants to open as well and got a hundred in Zimbabwe doing that. Damien [Martyn] has done extremely well when he's had a chance to open before, so we've got the two options."

Wicketkeeper-batsman Gilchrist will today become the sixth Australian to win 200 one-day international caps, following Steve Waugh, Allan Border, Mark Waugh, Michael Bevan and Ponting.

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe preview

Bangladesh, savoring their maiden Test win, go into the second and final cricket Test against Zimbabwe at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today hoping to secure a 2-0 sweep of the series.

Bangladesh, winless for 34 matches after receiving Test status in 2000, ended the drought earlier this week when they hammered the depleted Zimbabweans by 226 runs in the opening match in Chittagong.

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