Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Double by Hilfenhaus lifts Australia

AFP , BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

Ben Hilfenhaus took two wickets as Australia saw the back of England captain Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood after play re-started in the rain-affected third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

At lunch yesterday England were 159 for four in reply to Australia’s first innings 263, a deficit of 104, after rain had washed-out all of Saturday’s play and created a wet outfield that delayed yesterday’s start by an hour.

But Ian Bell, who before the match had a Test average against Australia of 25, continued to ride his luck to be 46 not out.

COLLINGWOOD OUT

However England, 1-0 up in the five-match series, saw Collingwood out to what turned out to be the last ball before lunch when the batsman chased a wide, swinging, Hilfenhaus delivery and was well caught above his head by Australia captain Ricky Ponting at second slip.

England, in front after their 115-run second Test victory at Lord’s, resumed on 116 for two.

Strauss, who made a century at Lord’s, was 64 not out and Bell unbeaten on 26 after being recalled in place of the injured Kevin Pietersen, out for the remainder of the Ashes with an Achilles injury.

Left-handed opener Strauss had only added five to his overnight score when, trying to cut a Hilfenhaus delivery that cramped him for room, he was caught behind by Test debutant wicket-keeper Graham Manou.

England were 141 for three after a second-wicket stand of 81.

Bell, who’d survived one huge lbw shout from struggling left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson on Friday, had to endure another confident appeal on 30 from Siddle after missing an inswinger.

However, once again veteran South African umpire Rudi Koertzen ruled in the 27-year-old’s favor. The way in which Bell hastily skipped across his crease to well outside leg-stump suggested he thought it was a close call.

TEXTBOOK FOUR

Bell, gaining in assurance in front of his Warwickshire home crowd, then drove Siddle off the front foot through extra-cover fence for a textbook four.

Johnson began his spell yesterday with an inswinger that rapped Bell on the pads. But Koertzen again turned down the lbw appeal after the batsman got a thin edge and Bell hit back with a cover-driven four off the paceman.

Bell, on 46, then clipped Johnson off his pads only for the ball to hit Simon Katich in the chest before the fielder had time to react.

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