Sorry England in trouble again

ENGLAND were on course for another emphatic defeat in the second Test after Australia dominated the third day at the Adelaide Oval with both bat and ball.

ENGLAND were on course for another emphatic defeat in the second Test after Australia dominated the third day at the Adelaide Oval with both bat and ball.

Resuming 95 runs adrift, on 247 for two, Australia established a 210-run first innings lead by reaching a commanding 552 for nine declared with Ricky Ponting hitting a brilliant 154, Damien Martyn scoring 95 and Adam Gilchrist a quickfire 54 off only 67 balls.

Facing 13 overs before the close, England crumbled against new ball pair Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie and slipped to 17 for two before Andy Bichel strengthened Australia's stranglehold even further by removing England captain Nasser Hussain just four balls before stumps to leave the tourists on 36 for three.

Needing a solid reply if they were to stand any chance of saving the game, England lost opener Marcus Trescothick after only ten deliveries when he was trapped leg before by Gillespie.

Only six balls later Mark Butcher fell in identical fashion, only this time to McGrath, while Michael Vaughan could also have gone having edged just short of Shane Warne at first slip earlier in the over.

Vaughan received another reprieve in the very next over when he was dropped by Darren Lehmann.

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Hussain also had a nervy start but survived an appeal for a catch behind off Gillespie before he had scored, only to fall in the final over when Bichel struck with a delivery which seamed away late.

Earlier Gilchrist spearheaded Australia's relentless progress towards a major first innings advantage with another blistering assault on England's attack.

The explosive wicketkeeper-batsman was in typically blistering form late in the afternoon to power the hosts into a commanding position.

Gilchrist's assault halted England's impressive fightback which was led by Yorkshire all-rounder Craig White after he claimed his first four-wicket Test haul in two years during the afternoon session.

White dismissed Ponting, Lehmann and Australian captain Steve Waugh in quick succession as Australia lost three wickets for 26 runs.

Ponting and Martyn had earlier shared a 242-run third-wicket partnership spanning 84 overs as Australia dominated the first session of the third day.

Martyn fell just five runs short of his century when he was caught by Hussain off a short delivery from Steve Harmison and Ponting followed five overs later.

The Tasmanian batsman spent 349 minutes at the crease and hit nine boundaries during his epic innings before becoming White's first victim.

Lehmann made only five before falling to brother-in-law White.

Australian captain Waugh was the final victim in White's spell when he cut fiercely and Butcher took a superb diving catch in the gully before Dawson took a brilliant return catch off his own bowling to remove Warne.

Bichel then smashed 48 off just 56 balls before a Matthew Hoggard delivery ricocheted off his body and gently hit the stumps.

And Gilchrist's run-blitz came to an end when he was caught behind and the declaration followed immediately.