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July 19, 2009

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England in control at Lord's

ENGLAND survived a nervous period to extend its lead over Australia to 340 runs yesterday by reaching 130-2 at tea on the third day of the second Ashes test.

England strengthened its position with Kevin Pietersen 28 not out and Ravi Bopara unbeaten on 19 after captain Andrew Strauss opted not to enforce the follow-on before lunch, when Australia was dismissed for 215 at Lord's.

Bopara was almost caught in the over before tea after pulling Mitchell Johnson to Nathan Hauritz at mid-on. Bopara stood his ground and the third umpire ruled "not out."

Australia, seeking to retain the Ashes, came out in fighting mood after the break and removed the England openers in the second and fourth overs following the interval, bowled by offspinner Hauritz.

Alastair Cook went back to a ball he should have been forward to and was leg before wicket to Hauritz for 32, his lunch-time score. Then Strauss, who made 161 in England's first innings of 425, edged a turning ball to Michael Clarke at slip for the same score.

England might have crashed from 61-0 to 88-4 if Australia had then taken its chances.

Pietersen survived an lbw appeal on 10 to Ben Hilfenhaus. As Pietersen looked anxiously toward the umpire, he wandered down the pitch and Ricky Ponting tried to run him out from slip, but missed the stumps. Three balls later, Bopara on nine edged a probing delivery from Peter Siddle on offstump to Ponting at second slip, which he dropped.


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