England claim two quick wickets yesterday as they push for victory in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
England heap pressure on Australia
England claimed two quick wickets as they pushed for victory in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston. The Australia captain Ricky Ponting was one of the pair dismissed on the fourth day as the tourists progressed to 57 for two, still 56 runs behind the home team. Following an Andrew Flintoff-inspired batting display, Graham Onions delivered the breakthrough when he had Simon Katich caught behind attempting to on-drive. Ponting was then bowled through the gate by a big, turning delivery from off-spinner Graeme Swann to send the Birmingham crowd wild. England's positive attitude in this rain-hit contest has opened up the possibility of them taking a 2-0 lead in the series. Flintoff struck 74, his highest Test score on home soil for four years, to front England's 376 all out. It was his best in this country since an Ashes hundred at Trent Bridge in 2005, as England opened up a 113-run lead on first innings. Recalled Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell, captain Andrew Strauss and Stuart Broad each fell for half-centuries on a weather-delayed day, which had been initially dominated by the bowlers. But Flintoff's sense of adventure inspired a stirring fightback from a position of 168 for five shortly after lunch. Wicketkeeper Matt Prior (41) and Broad (55) fed off the mood as England ploughed from 200 to 300 in just 90 deliveries. Flintoff appeared set for only his sixth Test hundred when a turning delivery from off-spinner Nathan Hauritz caught the glove and rebounded to slip. Broad was last out when he drove straight back at fast bowler Peter Siddle, having rattled up his fourth Test fifty from just 62 balls.
* PA Sport