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Australia seize control of Super Test

Julian Linden in Sydney | October 15, 2005 08:16 IST
Last Updated: October 15, 2005 17:53 IST

Australia rebounded from an early-morning batting collapse to seize control of the ICC [Images] super Test against the World XI in Sydney, on Saturday.

The home team were 66 for one in their second innings, leading by 221 runs, when bad light ended play early on an action-packed second day during which 15 wickets tumbled at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

England [Images] all-rounder Andrew Flintoff [Images] brought the world team back into the match by mopping up the tail in the morning but his efforts were in vain as Shane Warne [Images] and Stuart MacGill turned things back Australia's way.

The two leg spinners shared seven wickets as the World XI were bowled out for 190 in reply to Australia's 345.

"Australia are well placed now," MacGill told reporters after picking up four for 39.

"We would have rather made more runs in the first innings, but having posted the score we did, to take a lead of well in excess of a hundred is very good for us.

"If we can bat for another two or three days, it should be nice bowling."

Glenn McGrath also captured two wickets to overtake West Indian Courtney Walsh [Images] as the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket.

India opener Virender Sehwag [Images] top-scored for the World XI with 76 from 82 balls. Only two other batsmen made more than 12 as seven players failed to reach double figures.

"We are not embarrassed," Sehwag said.

"We are just backing ourselves and will play good cricket tomorrow. We have to get them out early and then after that we'll look to bat positively.

"We are ready for every challenge but sometimes your batting clicks and sometimes it doesn't."

McGrath triggered the collapse when he dismissed India's new captain Rahul Dravid [Images] for a duck and Brian Lara [Images] for five to pass Walsh's Test record for a fast bowler of 519 wickets.

"It is a big honour because Courtney was a cricketer that I looked up to and admired," McGrath said.


Warne, who holds the overall world record for Test wickets, removed Sehwag after lunch before adding the scalps of Jacques Kallis [Images] (44) and his South African team mate Mark Boucher [Images] (nought) to leave the tourists reeling.

MacGill picked up his first wicket when Adam Gilchrist [Images] stumped Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq [Images] for one, then cleaned up Flintoff (35), Steve Harmison (one) and Muttiah Muralitharan (two) to leave the World XI trailing by 155 on first innings.

Australia lost Justin Langer for 22, caught by World XI skipper Graeme Smith [Images] at slip off Kallis, at the start of their second innings.

But first-innings centurion Matthew Hayden [Images] (27 not out) and captain Ricky Ponting [Images] (17 not out) steered the home side safely through to stumps.

Things did not look so bright at the start of the day when Australia lost their last four wickets for 14 runs in five overs.

Flintoff continued where he left off in the recent Ashes series with three quick strikes, including the prize wicket of Gilchrist leg before wicket for 94 with the second ball of the day.

He also picked up Warne and Brett Lee [Images] to finish with four for 59 as the world champions slumped after resuming on 331 for six.


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