Rain stopped play 12 minutes after the tea interval on the third day of the first Ashes test between England and Australia.
Rain stops play
CARDIFF, WALES // Rain stopped play 12 minutes after the tea interval on the third day of the first Ashes test between England and Australia on Friday. Australia were 463 for four in reply to England's first innings 435 with Michael Clarke on 74 and Marcus North on 51. The tourists led England at tea by 23 runs with Clark 70 not out and North on 50. With the pitch slow and with the ball not swinging much for England's bowlers, Australia has the upper hand in the first match of the five-test series. Australia, seeking to retain the Ashes, lost three wickets in the morning session as Simon Katich was out for 122, Ricky Ponting for 150 and Mike Hussey made three. Clarke kept the pressure on England and was particularly severe on the spinners. Monty Panesar was hit for six and a four in a later over that registered Australia's 400. He reached his fifty with the first of two consecutive boundaries off Graeme Swann. North, who warmed up for the test with an unbeaten 191 last week, brought up the 100 partnership with a single. When England turned to its most potent and reliable bowler Andrew Flintoff, he conceded 10 runs off his first over back. A boundary with the last ball of that over gave Australia the lead, past England's 435. Before lunch, England broke through in the fifth over with the new ball as Katich tried to flick a full length ball from Anderson off his legs, missed and was lbw in front of middle stump. Hussey edged Anderson to wicketkeeper Matt Prior for three after wafting at a pitched-up ball outside off stump, before Ponting's dismissal made it 331-4. Ponting, who made a 150 for the 13th time in his test career, was out three balls after reaching the milestone when he tried to cut a spinning, short ball from Panesar and got a bottom edge on to his stumps. *AP and Reuters