Cricket: Hussey does ton of work as Aussies hold pole position

Michael HUSSEY's second hundred of the 2010/11 Ashes kept Australia in pole position for a series-levelling victory in a fluctuating third Test.

Hussey, yet to fall for under 50 in five attempts this winter, was 111 not out in a second-innings 297 for eight at tea on day three on his home ground.

Despite another fine pace-bowling performance from Chris Tremlett, Australia therefore led by 378, putting the onus on England to bat far better second time round than first if they are to pull off an Ashes-clinching win at the WACA.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tremlett (four for 76) took two of four wickets for the addition of only 32 runs, after Australia had appeared set to bat on for the remainder of the day and set a record-breaking fourth-innings target.

They remained strong favourites to prevail, thanks largely to the prolific Hussey's 136-ball 13th Test century, completed with one of his trademark, expertly placed and controlled pulls off Tremlett for his 13th four.

England had fallen further off the pace this morning as Hussey and Shane Watson (95) completed a century stand for the fourth wicket.

The tourists had entertained ambitions of retaining the Ashes before Christmas but that looks a forlorn hope.

A breakthrough was needed increasingly urgently by the time Tremlett supplied it.

Watson missed out on a hundred yet again, making today the 14th time he has passed a Test 50 and then failed to convert it to three figures.

He left with a withering look for umpire Marais Erasmus too. But, after taking the lbw verdict to DRS, the accepted proof was there that there was no inside edge and Watson was struck.

Within minutes, Australia were on the right side of a review when new batsman Steven Smith was given not out by Billy Doctrove. Whether the decision was for lbw or caught at first slip was not clear, but it was soon evident that Smith was staying put in either case.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hussey had a significant scare from the last ball before lunch, having to go to DRS to show the ball hitting him too high and therefore overturning Erasmus' decision that he was lbw to Tremlett.

Tremlett's short, leg-side line of attack from round the wicket ended a stand of 75 when Smith fended one behind to Matt Prior. And his awkward length confused Brad Haddin, who deflected the ball down on to his stumps; then, either side of Hussey's hundred, Johnson and Ryan Harris came and went.

Paul Collingwood replaced an out-of-sorts Graeme Swann and had Johnson poking a catch to cover, and Harris continued his miserable run of scores when he pulled Steven Finn (three for 97) into the hands of deep midwicket.