ENGLAND SPENT an uncomfortable morning as Australia's bowlers began to work their way through the batting order. Only Nasser Hussain, unbeaten on 50 at lunch, offered much resistance, as England ended this morning's session at 174 for 5, a lead of 104 runs.
Following the surge of confidence given them by Steve Waugh the previous day, the home side did not have to wait long for their first success. In the third over, Glenn McGrath uprooted Dean Headley's off stump with a corker, that nipped back sharply off the seam.
Headley, his feet rooted, had left a yawning gate, though as Mark Ramprakash later showed when clean bowled by Matt Nicholson, it is not a technical glitch to which the tail have exclusive rights.
Once again the early loss did not sway Stewart from his bid to be positive. Driving firmly, the England captain reached his fifty with a three off McGrath.
Since resorting to his old role as opener, Stewart has looked a different player, though one who still has difficulty with spin. Indeed, his side had only just overcome their first-innings deficit when it proved his undoing again as Stuart MacGill, niggling away at him with a leg-stump line had him caught off pad and bat at silly point.
As they have done all tour, Hussain and Ramprakash dug in and the pair had addded 49, when the top of Ramprakash's off bail was trimmed by a cracker from Nicholson. Apart from MacGill's fizzers, only two balls had really misbehaved. The trouble is from England's point of view, is that both hit timber.
Lunch fourth day; Australia won toss
ENGLAND - First Innings 270 (A J Stewart 107, M R Ramprakash 63).
AUSTRALIA - First Innings 340 (S R Waugh 122 not out; D Gough 5-96)
ENGLAND - Second Innings
(Overnight: 65 for 2)
*A J Stewart c Taylor b MacGill 52
D W Headley b McGrath 1
N Hussain not out 50
M R Ramprakash b Nicholson 14
G A Hick not out 30
Extras (b2, lb2, nb9) 13
Total (for 5, 60 overs) 174
Fall: 1-5 (Atherton), 2-61 (Butcher), 3-66 (Headley), 4-78 (Stewart), 5-127 (Ramprakash).
Bowling: McGrath 16-4-42-1; Fleming 13-3-36-1; Nicholson 9-2-32-1; MacGill 21-3-60-2; M Waugh 1-1-0-0.
Umpires: S A Bucknor and D J Harper. TV Replay umpire: G T Morrow. Match referee: J R Reid.
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