September 03, 2013

Aussies stay on top in third Test

Australia continued to turn the screws on England in the third Test, with Brad Haddin taking a screamer to remove Alastair Cook and keep the Ashes fire well and truly burning at Old Trafford.

Ryan Harris got Australia off to the perfect start by knocking over Jonathan Trott just nine overs into day three to have England 3-64 china vpn.

And with time very much of the essence for Australia, Mitchell Starc struck in the shadows of lunch to get key man Cook nicking down the leg-side for 62.

At lunch England were 4-119, trailing by 408.

Trailing 2-0 in the series, Australia must win at Old Trafford and pushing hard to enforce the follow-on appears their best hope.

England are still 208 away from avoiding that mark.

Cook was setting the platform for a match-saving captain's knock before 35-year-old wicketkeeper Haddin took perhaps the best catch of the series so far cheap wood bookcase.

Starc (1-31) bowled an excellent spell where he tempted the England batsmen to leave their comfort zone, and after making 66 not out with the bat - the left-armer got a thick edge from Cook, who was trying to prod him down to fine leg.

Australia's bowlers hunted in a pack and piled on the pressure to keep England restricted to two runs an over for the innings, and star batsman Kevin Pietersen (33 not out) has looked far from settled.

However, on a good batting wicket, Australia can't afford to let big partnerships build - with star Pietersen and the best batsman of the series Ian Bell (4no) now at the crease and Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior still to come.

Rain is never far away in Manchester, and with interruptions likely over the final days, Australia need to continue to ram home their advantage.

Captain Michael Clarke kept things as fresh as possible on the third morning, switching up his bowlers every couple of overs.

However, spinner Nathan Lyon has surprisingly bowled just the three overs on moving day, despite looking particularly dangerous late on day two.

He's set to play a big role for the rest of the afternoon.

Trott has struggled all series since copping a shocking umpiring decision in the first Test.

At the same point last Ashes series, Trott had 277 runs at 69.25.

But this series he has just 111 at 22.2.

Normally incredibly disciplined, Harris (1-30) got Trott playing at one he shouldn't have, and despite the ball not doing much - it was flicked to Clarke, who took a sharp catch at second slip neo skin lab derma21.

Peter Siddle has 2-18 after making the two crucial breakthroughs late on day two.

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