Rain slows Australia progress

Rain halted Australia's march towards an ominous score in the first npower Ashes Test in Cardiff.

Wet weather blew into south Wales and terminated play for two hours on the third evening, although England did claim a wicket during a brief resumption, which marked the first use of floodlights in a Test match in Britain.

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke (83) gloved a short delivery from Stuart Broad to be caught behind down the leg-side midway through the 28-minute period possible before the match officials deemed the visibility was not suitable.

Australia had progressed to 479 for five, an advantage of 44 runs, with Marcus North unbeaten on 54.

Ricky Ponting's 13th 150 of his Test career and a maiden Ashes hundred by Simon Katich were integral to mustering a first-innings lead.

Both perished in a spell of three wickets for 32 runs with the second new ball.