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Tait, Lehmann put S Australia in command

Published: Friday, November 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Adelaide:Shaun Tait boosted his chances of playing in next week's Ashes opener with a key England wicket in a hostile spell of fast bowling for South Australia late on the first day of the three-day tour match at Adelaide Oval.

Tait claimed the wicket of England opener Andrew Strauss, leg before wicket for a two-ball duck, in the first of three erratic overs of fast bowling on Friday.

The South Australian slinger is vying for the third fast bowler's spot in the first Test team with Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson.

Tait began his spell with a delivery which nearly decapitated first slip and ran away for wides, but he had Strauss lbw two deliveries later to a scorcher.

England responded to the shock of the Strauss dismissal by sending in fast bowler Matthew Hoggard as the nightwatchman.

At the close of an fluctuating first day's play, England were 24 for one in reply to the home team's declaration of 247 for seven.

Alastair Cook, likely to be promoted to open the England innings in next Thursday's Brisbane Test following the return home of Marcus Trescothick, was on six and Hoggard 10 not out, having survived a testing period, crowded by fieldsmen.

Earlier, Lehmann crafted a fine rearguard innings only to throw away a century with a run out.

Lehmann and Cameron Borgas steadied South Australia from 25 for four in the first hour with a partnership of 157, but both played a major part in their dismissals.

Lehmann was out for 99 when he took on James Anderson's throw from the deep and didn't make his ground while trying to complete a second run.

The former Test batsman played beautifully by driving the quicks and sweeping and nudging the spinners.

Borgas played the anchor role to support his skipper, but was out for 73, when he attempted to slog left-arm spinner Monty Panesar over mid-wicket.

Instead he only skied the ball to Cook, who took a comfortable catch near the boundary.

Hoggard made early inroads for England with a spell of 3-16 and finished the innings with 3-40.

England claimed 4-4 in 19 balls to have South Australia 25 for four at one stage.

Anderson took the first wicket of the match and had 1-14.

England twice made double breakthroughs, first when Anderson had former Test opener Matthew Elliott (11) caught behind to an underneath edge, and Hoggard had Daniel Harris (10) caught at third slip next ball.

Minutes later Mark Cosgrove (one) was caught down the legside off the glove to Hoggard and then next ball Callum Ferguson (duck) padded up to a straight delivery but was out lbw.

Panesar (1-54) found it heavy going in his attempt to claim the spinner's role in the Test side.

England's pace attack lacked punch as Steve Harmison sat out the game when management opted not to risk him when he awoke with tightness in his side.

Brief Scores:

South Australia 247 for 7 decl (Darren Lehmann 99, C Borgas 73, S Deitz 24; M Hoggard 3 for 40, Flintoff 1 for 34, Monty Panesar 1 for 54) vs England 24 for 1 ( M Hoggard 10 n o; Shaun Tait 1 for 11)

AFP

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