Ponting cameo halts England's charge

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The Independent Online

Ponting's fifth wicket in 92 Tests was followed soon after by the third rain interruption of the day shortly after 6pm. As this one proved terminal, stumps were drawn with England holding a marginal advantage at 229 for 4.

It is less than England had hoped for after Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss had put on 105 for the first wicket. Strauss was freakishly caught as the ball rebounded off his boot for 33 and Trescothick became the Australian debutant Shaun Tait's first Test victim when he perished for 65.

Australia were again forced to go into the match without Glenn McGrath after the 35-year-old had accepted that his injured elbow would not stand up to the rigours of a five-day Test. Michael Kasprowicz was recalled, but bowled without luck. He dropped a return catch from Kevin Pietersen when the batsman was on 14, then saw Matthew Hayden drop Vaughan on 30.