Aussies five wickets away from Perth Ashes Test glory

Saturday, December 18, 2010

PERTH - Australia is only five wickets away from squaring the Ashes series following another brilliant performance by their bowlers on day three of the third Test against England at Perth’s WACA Ground.

England now faces a monumental task to avoid defeat after slumping to 81-5 in pursuit of an improbable victory target of 391.

Mitchell Johnson (2-28), Ryan Harris (2-22) and Ben Hilfenhaus (1-16) struck as England lost their top five batsmen cheaply.

Opening batsman Alastair Cook managed only 13 before Harris dismissed him.

Johnson took his seventh wicket of the match, when he found Andrew Strauss’ (15) edge for a routine catch at second slip by Ricky Ponting.

Kevin Pietersen (three) then followed up his first-innings duck by becoming Hilfenhaus’ 50th Test victim.

Jonathan Trott (31) and Paul Collingwood (11) provided some resistance before being dismissed by Johnson and Harris respectively.

Earlier in the day, Australia was bowled out for 309 shortly after tea.

Much of the credit for Australia’s position of strength must go to Michael Hussey, who became the first man to go beyond fifty in six successive Ashes innings en route to bringing up his 13th Test century at his home ground, the BBC reports.

Hussey (116) also shared a 113 run fourth-wicket partnership with opening batsman Shane Watson (95).

With two matches remaining in the series, a victory would give Australia the momentum going into the fourth Test in Melbourne, starting on 26 December. (ANI)

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