Friday, December 15, 2006

Great Sikhs

Five-wicket Panesar puts Australia in a spin on Ashes debut

PERTH: Monty Panesar captured five wickets in his first Ashes appearance as England bowled out Australia for just 244 on the opening day of the third Test yesterday.

Panesar claimed the scalps of Justin Langer (37), Andrew Symonds (26), Adam Gilchrist (nought), Shane Warne (25) and Brett Lee (10) to finish with figures of five for 92 from 24 overs.

England's main strike bowler Steve Harmison rediscovered his form to take four for 48, including the prize wickets of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.

The reliable Matthew Hoggard made the initial breakthrough to get rid of Matthew Hayden.

Most of the Australian batsmen made starts but none were able to go on and build a big score, with the exception of Mike Hussey, who finished 74 not out after posting his fourth successive half-century of the series.

Panesar was controversially overlooked for the first two Tests but was finally given his chance when the selectors dumped Ashley Giles and replaced seamer James Anderson with Sajid Mahmood in the hope of fighting back from 2-0 down in the series.

Panesar made an immediate impact with his seventh delivery, bowling Langer with the last ball before lunch, making his omission from the first two tests even more baffling.

The left-arm spinner claimed a second scalp before tea when Symonds nicked a catch to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones and a third when Gilchrist was caught in close by Ian Bell for a duck.

Warne was also caught behind and Lee was trapped lbw, giving Panesar his third five-wicket haul in only his 11th Test.

Harmison, who had taken just one wicket for the series, rediscovered his line and length at the perfect time to trap Ponting lbw for two and held a sharp return one-handed catch to remove Clarke for 37.

Harmison polished off the tail to finish with four wickets, leaving Hussey stranded on 74 after a flawless innings over four hours that featured 10 boundaries. – Reuters


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