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Monday, August 15, 2005

Cricket: Ashes: 3rd Test, Final Day - Can Ponting save the match?


England need to take 5 more wickets in 42 overs to go 2-1 up in the Ashes series for the first time in 18 years. England's last Ashes win was in 1986-87.

Australia were 216/5 at tea on the final day with captain Ricky Ponting unbeaten on 91, with Michael Clarke, the last recognised batsman, for company. Australia needs to play out the remaining overs to hold on for what looks a difficult draw to achieve.

However, Shane Warne who played well in the first innings and Brett Lee who can hold an end will be tough wickets to take. Michael Clarke is unbeaten on 20 and is capable of batting out the last session to help Australia hold on for a draw.

Langer was out early in the day, Hayden was bowled by Flintoff, Martyn and Katich didn't last long; and Adam Gilchrist who never plays a defensive game, hung around for 30 balls before getting out for 4 runs.

A defensive strategy seems to have backfired. Playing for a draw on the final day is as good as going toward a certain defeat.

It will be an interesting final session on the last day.
Five wickets to take for England to win.
42 overs to play for Australia to draw.

Australia should hold on, but then this has been England's test match. Let's wait and watch.

Scores: 3rd Test, 5th Day.
Old Trafford, Manchester.
England....1st Innings...444 all out
Australia...1st Innings...302 all out
England...2nd Innings...280/6 decl.
Australia...2nd Innings...216/5 in 65 overs
Match in progress.