England fireworks light up Ashes

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The Independent Online

An extraordinary, explosive stand between Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen turned the day in England's favour, the pair putting on 103 in a mere 105 deliveries. Flintoff thrilled the crowd by clubbing five sixes - three off Shane Warne, another two off Brett Lee - in a 62-ball 68, Pietersen following up his excellent debut at Lord's with 71 off 76 balls.

Australia's captain Ricky Ponting had won the toss and asked England to bat but the openers Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss put on 112 before Strauss fell to Warne.

Trescothick made 90, just missing out on a maiden Ashes hundred as Australia hit back with three wickets in the afternoon session - Ian Bell suffered another failure and captain Michael Vaughan was also out to an ill-judged hook. However, the batting fireworks continued before England were finally all out for 407.

McGrath tore ankle ligaments during the warm-up and is likely to miss the third Test at Old Trafford.