Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Hussey, Haddin put England in a hole

AUSSIE ONSLAUGHT:Mike Hussey hit 195 and Brad Haddin weighed in with 136 as Australia took control and left England facing a huge battle to save the Test

REUTERS, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

England’s Alastair Cook takes a catch to dismiss Australia’s Ben Doherty on the third day of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday.

PHOTO: EPA

Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin both hit magical centuries in a record partnership of 307 to put Australia firmly in control of the first Ashes Test at the end of the third day at the Gabba yesterday.

Hussey hit a career-best innings of 195 and Haddin pitched in with an impressive 136 as they dominated the day to help steer Australia to 481 all out and a first innings lead of 221 runs.

England captain Andrew Strauss, on a pair after a first innings duck, had a scare on his first ball, but survived 15 tough overs with fellow opener Alastair Cook to leave the tourists on 19-0 in their second innings.

“The Ashes is what you dream of playing as a kid, so to just be a part of the Ashes series is fantastic, but to score a hundred in the first Test, it’s a dream come true,” said Hussey, who hit 26 fours and one six in his eight-hour innings.

Hussey and Haddin, who came together on Friday with Australia wobbling at 143 for five, weathered England’s new-ball onslaught in the morning, before tearing off the shackles as the tourists toiled in the afternoon heat.

“I think the first hour and a half was probably the hardest Test bowling I’ve ever had to face, with [Stuart] Broad and [James] Anderson bowling,” Haddin said.

The partnership was the highest in a Test match at the Gabba, beating Don Bradman and Lindsay Hassett’s 276 for Australia in the 1946-1947 Ashes series.

Haddin, who had resumed on 25, stifled his attacking instincts, but still scored more freely than his partner to drive Australia past England’s first-innings tally of 260.

Hussey, whose place in the team was under threat before the series, then sparked wild celebrations from another packed house at the Gabba when he brought up his 12th Test century.

A euphoric Hussey pumped his fists, then raised his bat and helmet in the air as he took the ovation, before embracing Haddin in the middle of the wicket.

Back in Test cricket after missing much of the year through injury, Haddin reached his century in some style after lunch by clubbing a six over Graeme Swann’s head.

Haddin was the first to fall, caught by Paul Collingwood off the bowling of Swann, and Hussey followed three overs later when he miscued a pull-shot to allow Cook a catch at midwicket, just five runs short of a double century.

“I was very determined to get to two hundred, but it wasn’t to be,” Hussey said. “As I was walking off, I thought however disappointed I was, I had to enjoy the fantastic ovation from the Gabba crowd. Emotions went through my body that I’ll never forget.”

Hussey was Steve Finn’s third victim of the match and the young pace bowler then ripped through Australia’s tail to finish with 6-125, his third five-wicket haul in Tests.

“It was a very tough day of Test cricket for us,” the 21-year-old said. “Personally, to take six wickets is great, but there are still plenty of things I want to improve on. To say that there’s a gulf in class is grossly wrong ... Australia are on top at the moment, but the nature of the way we’ve played our cricket over the last 18 months will stand us in good stead and that dogfight will come out.”

The day might have been very different but for the umpire referral system.

Hussey had added just one run to his overnight total of 81 when he was given out leg before wicket to James Anderson, but a review of the TV pictures showed the ball had pitched outside leg-stump and umpire Aleem Dar’s decision was overturned.

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