Ashes 2nd Test, Day 4: Hoggard stars for England

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The Independent Online

Matthew Hoggard delivered a stunning seven-wicket haul to finally break Australia's resistance and earn England a slender lead in the second Ashes Test.

The Yorkshire seamer claimed seven for 109 to help dismiss Australia for 513 and secure a 38 runs first innings lead, which was extended to 97 runs by the close of the fourth day as England reached 59 for one.

It was Hoggard's best figures since grabbing seven for 61 to help win the Johannesburg Test against South Africa two years ago and helped him leapfrog over Darren Gough into eighth place in England's all-time list of Test wicket-takers with 231 victims.

Hoggard's display was all the more impressive on a pitch still favouring batsmen and was a reward for great perseverance after Australia resisted for the majority of the day.

Resuming 239 runs adrift on 312 for five still 40 away from saving the follow on, Australia made slow but steady progress towards England's total with Adam Gilchrist and Michael Clarke sharing a 98-run partnership.

Clarke, who hit a determined 124 after over five hours at the crease, also forged a useful 118-run stand with Shane Warne, before being dismissed by Hoggard's reverse swing.

Gilchrist had fallen for an entertaining 64 off 79 balls, which included eight fours, when he was caught in the deep trying to hit Giles for a second successive boundary.

But England did not enjoy any more success for a further 44 overs as Clarke progressed steadily towards the third Test century of his career to boost his hopes of being retained in Australia's line-up once all-rounder Shane Watson regains his fitness.

It was not until the brink of tea that Hoggard finally struck, trapping Warne leg before as he shuffled across his stumps having defied England for nearly three hours.

Clarke followed five overs later when he pushed Hoggard to Giles at short mid-on and two overs later Stuart Clark lost his leg-stump trying to slog over the top to earn Hoggard his seventh victim.

James Anderson completed Australia's demise five overs later when last man Glenn McGrath edged behind to leave England needing to withstand a nervous final session.

Facing a nervous 19 overs the tourists lost opener Alastair Cook when he edged Clark behind, but Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell ensured there were no further setbacks before the close - with a draw seeming the likely outcome.

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