Hoggard hammers Aussies

Australia were 312 for 5 at stumps on Day 3, still 239 runs behind England's first innings total.

    Matthew Hoggard (3rd left) was England's star player on day three taking four wickets
    Hoggard bowled superbly to finish with the figures of 4 for 76 from 27 overs, taking the scalps of Matthew Hayden (12), Damien Martyn (11), Ponting, and Hussey to tighten the visitors' hold on the match and a possible 1-1 series leveller.

    The Australians made slow going throughout the day as they tentatively set chase for England's first innings total of 551, while the touring bowlers suffocated the local' usual high-paced scoring.

    Opener Hayden was the first to fall to Hoggard early in the day when he needlessly waved his bat at a wide delivery, edging an easy catch to Geraint Jones from a nothing shot.

    Martyn crunched a Stephen Harmison delivery for four before Ian Bell took a great catch low down in the gully to dismiss the West Australian after he was deceived by Hoggard's late swing.

    Hoggard should have had Ponting's wicket much earlier, but Ashley Giles dropped a good chance at deep square leg to let the dangerous and in form batsman off the hook when he was on just 35.

    Ponting sets new record

    Giles' error cost England 107 runs as the Australian captain took full advantage of his reprieve, knuckling down to make his 10th ton in 13 Tests.

    Australian captain Ricky Ponting hit his
    10th century in 13 Tests

    Ponting's 142 to go with his 196 and 60 not out in the first Test, was his 33rd Test century, pushing him past former Test captain Steve Waugh to the top of the list of most hundreds scored by an Australian.

    The second new ball came with instant success for Hoggard, as he claimed the prize wicket of Ponting with the last ball of the first over with the new six-stitcher.

    The Yorkshire paceman had the Australian captain pushing cautiously at a ball on a great length that moved slightly away, presenting Jones with another straightforward catch.

    Then almost four overs later, Hoggard had Hussey out bowled when the batsman was in sight of his fifth Test hundred in just his 12th Test match.

    Hussey was looking to leave another well pitched Hoggard delivery but at the last second made the ill-fated decision to play a shot, with the ball ricocheting on to the stumps from an inside edge.

    Australian batsmen Michael Clarke (30 not out) and Adam Gilchrist (13 not out) then saw out the remaining overs as Andrew Flintoff and his buoyant team pressed for another wicket.

    But it was Matthew Hoggard's day as he took the mantle of England's strike bowler from the out-of-form Harmison, and rattled the Australians with an excellent bowling performance.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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