England ended Michael Hussey’s fine innings as they pressed for a win at Edgbaston that would put them 2-0 up in the Ashes series with two to play.
Australia, at lunch in yesterday’s final day of the third Test, were 172 for four in their second innings — effectively 59 for four — with England still to bat again.
Michael Clarke was 12 not out and Marcus North unbeaten on four.
Left-hander Hussey fell to Stuart Broad’s 12th ball of the innings — and first from around the wicket — when he was caught behind by wicket-keeper Matthew Prior for 64 after two-and-a-half hours of game resistance.
His exit left Australia 161 for four.
Earlier, James Anderson had Shane Watson caught behind for 53 — the makeshift opener’s second 50 of the match. Ashes holders Australia resumed on 88 for two, still 25 runs behind.
England had given themselves a shot at victory on Sunday with Graham Onions dismissing Simon Katich and Graeme Swann’s classic off-break bowling Australia captain and star batsman Ricky Ponting for five.
Watson, recalled in place of dropped opener Phillip Hughes, was unbeaten on 34 after top-scoring in Australia’s first innings with 62, while Hussey was 18 not out.
Andrew Flintoff, the bowling hero of England’s 115-run second Test win at Lord’s and who had already starred with the bat in this match, beat Hussey on the outside edge before the batsman responded by driving the next delivery through the covers. Hussey’s single off Flintoff brought the scores level and his cut four off Swann took Australia into the lead.
Watson, in his debut Test as an opener, was hit flush on the left elbow after turning his head away from a Flintoff bouncer.
But he kept going and drove a Swann full-toss for his ninth four as he completed a 50 off 113 balls.
Flintoff, after a stint of seven overs for 17 runs, was replaced by fellow Lancashire quick Anderson, who took five wickets in Australia’s first innings.
And with his sixth ball on Friday, Anderson had Watson edging to wicket-keeper Matthew Prior to end a three-hour innings and a stand of 85 with Hussey.
Australia were now 137 for three in a match where Saturday’s play was washed out as were Thursday’s first two sessions.
New batsman Clarke could have been out first ball when, trying to withdraw the bat against Anderson, he got an inadvertent boundary when the ball might just as easily have deflected into his stumps.
But it was Broad, whose bowling has been much criticized this series, who ended a Hussey innings where 52 of his runs came in boundaries.
England were struggling at 168 for five in reply to Australia’s first innings 263 before Flintoff revived their innings with 74 off just 79 balls.
Together with Prior and Broad he shared valuable and rapid partnerships of 89 and 52 respectively, with Broad going on to make 55 as England built a first-innings lead of 113.
■SRI LANKA V PAKISTAN
AFP, DAMBULLA, SRI LANKA
Mahela Jayawardene hit his first one-day century in two years as Sri Lanka thumped Pakistan by six wickets yesterday to grab a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
The former captain made 123 and shared an opening stand of 202 with Upul Tharanga (76) as the hosts cruised past Pakistan’s challenging 288-8 in the 47th over of the high-scoring match.
Sri Lanka, who had won the preceding Test series 2-0, made light work of an improved batting display by Pakistan in which teenager Umar Akmal led the way with 66 off 65 balls.
The 19-year-old, whose elder brother Kamran Akmal is the team’s wicket-keeper, propelled Pakistan to the highest total ever at the Rangiri International Stadium.
But Jayawardene, opening the batting in place of the indisposed Sanath Jayasuriya, and Tharanga gave Sri Lanka the perfect start in good batting conditions.
Jayawardene hit 14 boundaries and a six in his 11th one-day century and his first since making 107 for Asia against Africa in the Afro-Asia Cup in Chennai in June, 2007.
Left-handed Tharanga helped himself to nine fours, before both batsmen fell in successive overs.
Sri Lanka lost a third wicket in the space of 10 runs as Thilan Samaraweera gave Saeed Ajmal a return catch, but Thilina Kandamby (32) and captain Kumar Sangakkara (37 not out) steered Sri Lanka home.
Pakistan lost despite putting up their best total in the series after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field.
Kamran Akmal made 45 during a 71-run stand for the second wicket with skipper Younus Khan (44) after opener Nasir Jamshed had fallen in the second over.
■WINDIES V BANGLADESH
AFP, BASSETERRE, ST KITTS
Bangladesh suffered the only defeat on their trip to the Caribbean when the West Indies won their Twenty20 international by five wickets on Sunday.
Bangladesh were unsuccessful in defending a modest victory target of 119, after reckless batting — epitomized by four needless run outs — undermined their batting at Warner Park.
The result was secured, when Travis Dowlin, whose run-a-ball 37 was the top score, pulled a long-hop from left-arm spinner Mehrab Hossain Jr for the last of his five fours.
Sunday’s game followed two Tests and three one-day internationals between the two sides that ended in a historic sweep for Bangladesh of both series against a West Indies side depleted by a player boycott.
“We didn’t bat well, especially the top-order batsmen, including myself, and we didn’t play smart cricket, that was our downfall,” Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said. “I don’t know why we played like this, but we didn’t execute our game plan well. If you have four run-outs in an innings, it will be very difficult for you to score runs in a T20.”
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