Accurate Australia restrain England

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The Independent Online

England struggled to impose themselves on the Australian bowlers during the third day of the second Ashes test at Lord's on Saturday after opting to bat again rather than enforce the follow-on.

Australia, who started the day on 156 for eight in reply to England's 425, were dismissed in the morning session for 215.

At tea England were 130 for two, an overall lead of 340, following a slow post-lunch period during which both Ravi Bopara (19 not out) and Kevin Pietersen (28 not out) were restricted by thoughtful pace bowling.

Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz dismissed Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss for identical scores of 32 in eight balls after the England openers had put on 61 from 56 balls.

Cook was lbw to Hauritz's first ball after lunch which hurried through. Strauss was caught by Michael Clarke at first slip after he was deceived in flight by a delivery which spun away from the left-hander.

Pietersen drove Hauritz handsomely for four but then became increasingly introspective while Bopara, needing runs to secure his test place, could not find his timing.

Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle found some swing and successfully contained the England batsmen. Mitchell Johnson, though, was again wayward, switching from over to around the wicket without finding his direction.

The ease with which Siddle, who reached his highest test score of 35, and Hauritz (24) batted against the England pace bowlers might have helped persuade Strauss to bat for a second time. He would also be aware that Sri Lanka and South Africa have saved test matches in recent years at Lord's after being made to follow on.

Strauss batted with appropriate urgency after his first innings of 161 but the game started to drift in the afternoon session.

Ricky Ponting at second slip dropped Bopara on 11 from the bowling of Siddle with the score on 88. In the final over before tea Bopara was given not out when Hauritz dived forward at mid-on to claim a catch off Johnson. The appeal was rejected after the television umpire had consulted several replays.