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July 20, 2009

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Aussies face defeat as Swann, Flintoff strike

ENGLAND off-spinner Graeme Swann dismissed Australia left-handers Michael Hussey and Marcus North during the afternoon session on the fourth day of the second Ashes test at Lord's yesterday.

Swann, who failed to take a wicket in the drawn first test in Cardiff and was used for only one over in Australia's first innings, had Hussey caught at slip for 27 and bowled North for six.

At tea yesterday, Australia, set 522 to win after England declared at its overnight total of 311 for six, was 178 for five and fighting what appeared a losing battle for survival.

Michael Clarke was the one batsman to come to terms with the conditions and the bowlers, playing some glorious drives to reach his half-century from only 58 deliveries.

At the interval he was 60 not out with eight boundaries.

Andrew Flintoff, playing his last test at Lord's, gave England a flying start by removing openers Simon Katich (6) and Phillip Hughes (17) in his first 20 balls.


He dismissed Katich with the first ball of his second over, caught at gully by Kevin Pietersen while Hughes was controversially caught at first slip by England captain Andrew Strauss.

Strauss dived forward to claim the catch which television replays indicated may have brushed the ground first.To Australian captain Ricky Ponting's anger, the on-field official Rudi Koertzen did not refer the decision to the third umpire but gave Hughes out.

Hughes had received a life one run earlier when Flintoff dropped a hard chance low to his left at second slip off Anderson.

Ponting clipped six boundaries to reach 38 before he was bowled by Stuart Broad after lunch and Hussey followed for 27, smartly caught at slip by Paul Collingwood although replays showed his bat hit the ground rather than the ball.

North was bowled off the inside edge to give Swann two wickets in 19 balls.

England, seeking to regain the Ashes, made 311-6 in its second innings on Saturday before rain stopped play.

Strauss had earlier opted not to enforce the follow-on when Australia was dismissed for 215 before lunch in reply to England's 425.

Matt Prior scored 61 from 42 deliveries to help England push on toward setting Australia a target.

Prior added 86 from 74 balls with Paul Collingwood (54), after Kevin Pietersen and Ravi Bopara had labored.

Flintoff scored a quick 30 not out to take England's lead past 500.


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