Australia saw four of their batsmen score centuries in a Test innings against England for the first time as they took command of the Ashes series opener at Sophia Gardens here on Saturday.
A stand of 200 between Ashes debutants Marcus North (125 not out) and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin (121), which followed Friday’s efforts of 150 from captain Ricky Ponting and 122 from opener Simon Katich, saw Australia to a huge total of 674 for six declared before tea on the fourth day.
Come the interval, England had collapsed to 20 for two — still needing a further 219 runs to make Australia bat again - after Alastair Cook was lbw to Mitchell Johnson and Ravi Bopara fell the same way to Ben Hilfenhaus.
The rain which swept across the ground as the players left the field now looked like England’s best hope of saving the game.
Only once before in Ashes history had four batsmen scored centuries in an innings, during the course of England’s 658 for eight declared at Trent Bridge in 1938.
And this was also the first time any side had scored four hundreds in a Test innings against England.
Australia are the co-holders, with Pakistan, of the world record of five hundreds in a Test innings, with their quintet coming in a total of 758 for eight declared against the West Indies at Kingston in 1955.
All five of England’s frontline bowlers — James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Andrew Flintoff and Monty Panesar - conceded more than 100 runs as Ashes-holders Australia ruthlessly punished England’s lacklustre attack.
In the process Australia provided a masterclass in how to make a big score after three England batsmen had got to fifty without getting to a hundred.
North and Haddin became the 15th and 16th Australians to score hundreds in their first Test innings against England and the first since Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist both achieved the feat at Edgbaston in 2001.
Haddin, a stylish wicket-keeper/batsman who had to fill the gap left by the Gilchrist’s retirement, showed his class by going down the pitch to loft left-arm spinner Panesar for a six that took Australia past 600.
When he gave off-spinner Swann the same treatment, it meant Australia’s sixth-wicket duo had put on 150 with the third fifty coming in just 51 balls.
A single off Swann saw Haddin to his second Test hundred. He holed out off Paul Collingwood to end a 151-ball innings featuring three sixes and 11 fours, at which point Ponting declared.
North’s hundred was his second in three Tests after the left-hander made a century on debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in February.
North, 54 not out when Australia resumed Saturday on 479 for five with Haddin unbeaten on four, batted for over six hours. The West Australian faced 242 balls with 13 boundaries in a chanceless innings.
England won the toss
England 1st innings
*A J Strauss c Clarke b Johnson 30
A N Cook c Hussey b Hilfenhaus 10
R S Bopara c Hughes b Johnson 35
K P Pietersen c Katich b Hauritz 69
P D Collingwood c Haddin b Hilfenhaus 64
†M J Prior b Siddle 56
A Flintoff b Siddle 37
J M Anderson c Hussey b Hauritz 26
S C J Broad b Johnson 19
G P Swann not out 47
M S Panesar c Ponting b Hauritz 4
Extras (b 13, lb 11, w 2, nb 12) 38
Total (all out; 106.5 overs) 435
Fall: 1-21, 2-67, 3-90, 4-228, 5-241, 6-327, 7-329, 8-355, 9-423, 10-435
Bowling: Johnson 22-2-87-3; Hilfenhaus 27-5-77-2 (4nb, 1w); Siddle 27-3-121-2 (5nb, 1w); Hauritz 23.5-1-95-3 (3nb); Clarke 5-0-20-0; Katich 2-0-11-0
Australia 1st innings
P J Hughes c Prior b Flintoff 36
S M Katich lbw b Anderson 122
*R T Ponting b Panesar 150
M E K Hussey c Prior b Anderson 3
M J Clarke c Prior b Broad 83
M J North not out 125
†B J Haddin c Bopara b Collingwood 121
Extras (b 9, lb 14, w 4, nb 7) 34
Total (6 wickets dec; 181 overs) 674 dec
Did not bat: M G Johnson, N M Hauritz, B W Hilfenhaus, P M Siddle
Fall: 1-60, 2-299, 3-325, 4-331, 5-474, 6-674
Bowling: Anderson 32-6-110-2 (1w); Broad 32-6-129-1 (2w); Swann 38-8-131-0; Flintoff 35-3-128-1 (7nb, 1w); Panesar 35-4-115-1; Collingwood 9-0-38-1 4.22
England 2nd Innings
*A J Strauss not out 6
A Cook lbw b Johnson 6
R Bopara lbw b Hilfenhaus 1
K Pietersen not out 3
Extras (w1, nb3) 3
Total (2 wkts, 7 overs) 20
To bat: P D Collingwood, †M J Prior, A Flintoff, S C J Broad, G P Swann, J M Anderson, M S Panesar
Fall: 1-13, 2-17
Bowling: Johnson 4-0-11-1 (1nb, 1w); Hilfenhaus 3-0-9-1 (1nb)
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and B R Doctrove (West Indies). TV umpire: R A Kettleborough. Match referee: J J Crowe (New Zealand)
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Nearly a week after the <b>Or</b>.. <a href="http://tinyurl.com/l3wgnz">http://tinyurl.com/l3wgnz</a>: 7/13/09 07/14/09 12:38am
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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