Tue, Nov 14, 2006 - Page 18 News List

England make good inroads against New South Wales


Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen hit half-centuries yesterday to help England make substantial inroads into New South Wales' first-innings of 355-9 in an Ashes tour match.

England was 256-4 at stumps with Strauss (50), Cook (59) and Pietersen (80 not out) having benefited from time in the middle against a Test-strength New South Wales side.

Captain Andrew Flintoff was unbeaten on 48 after two days of the three-day match.

After early showers suspended play with the hosts resuming at 325-5, England's bowlers took 4-35 before New South Wales declared. Steve Harmison returned 3-95.

Brett Lee's pace troubled England early, and he had Marcus Trescothick (8) out hitting on to his stumps in his opening five-over spell. But Strauss and Cook steadied the innings with a stand of 86.

Stuart Clark eventually broke the partnership when he grabbed a one-handed return catch off Strauss and then removed No. 4 Ian Bell with a ball outside off stump.

Mohammad Yousuf continued to capitalize on West Indies fielding lapses yesterday as Pakistan stretched its first innings lead on the third day of the first cricket Test.

Yousuf -- dropped on 43 and 101 on Sunday -- was again let off the hook on 114 when Brian Lara spilled a low catch in the second slip and was batting on 163 with Pakistan making strong progress to 396 for six at lunch.

Yousuf, 107 overnight, hit 19 fours and also a straight six just before lunch off left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed in his seven and a half hour knock.

Wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal smashed nine boundaries in his half century and was unbeaten on 61 at the break.

The West Indies bowlers went through another tiring session as Yousuf and Akmal added 111 runs for the seventh wicket partnership on a wicket that has eased out for batting and both batsmen had little trouble in facing the four-pronged pace attack.

The West Indies was bowled out for just 206 in its first innings and now Pakistan is 190 runs ahead with four wickets in hand.

Fast bowler Jerome Taylor provided the early breakthroughs after Pakistan resumed at the overnight 265-4 before Yousuf and Akmal added a century stand in two hours.

Shoaib Malik (69) took two boundaries off Taylor's first over before he played a lose shot and was caught at the midwicket. That ended a valuable 139-run partnership off 285 balls in three-and-a-quarter hours.

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