Australia ride on Marcus ton to go North

Australia ride on Marcus ton to go North

Cricket: Fourth Ashes Test

Crowning Glory: Marcus North kisses the Australian crest on his helmet after scoring his third Test hundred on the second day of the fourth Test at Headingley on Saturday. AP

England collapsed spectacularly to 82 for five in their second innings to leave Australia on the brink of victory in the fourth Ashes Test on Saturday.

Marcus North's patient century guided Australia to a commanding total of 445 on the second day and Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson claimed five wickets in 44 balls to leave England's hopes in tatters.

England trail by 261 runs and Australia should wrap up victory and level the series with ease on Sunday. Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook shared an opening stand of 58 for England but the former was lbw to Hilfenhaus for 32, Ravi Bopara fell first ball and Johnson removed Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood and Cook.

Nightwatchman James Anderson was unbeaten on nought at the close with Matt Prior, dropped off the last ball of the day, on four. North and Michael Clarke compiled a fifth-wicket partnership of 152 in the morning session to turn the screw on England who were bowled out for 102 on Friday and again looked laboured in the field.

Graham Onions trapped Clarke lbw for 93 just before the interval but the batsmen had picked off boundaries at will and experienced few problems against such a lacklustre attack.

North received useful support from the lower order and he reached his third century in six Tests with a huge slog sweep for six off spinner Graeme Swann before raising his bat to the balcony and kissing his helmet. Brad Haddin fell to the second new ball for 14 but Johnson struck a few lusty blows in his 27 and Stuart Clark launched a blistering attack with three sixes in a rapid 32. He became Stuart Broad's fifth victim, however, and the England seamer had North caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Anderson to complete Test-best figures of six for 91. North batted 326 minutes and hit a six and 13 fours in his second century of the series. Strauss and Cook started confidently and played some nicely-timed strokes with no hint of the drama to come. But Hilfenhaus was recalled for his second spell and he trapped Strauss and Bopara lbw with successive balls.

ENGLAND (I Innings): 102
AUSTRALIA (I Innings, O/n: 196/4):
Watson  lbw Onions    51
Katich  c Bopara b Harmison    0
Ponting lbw Broad    78
Hussey lbw Broad    10
Clarke lbw Onions    93
North c Anderson b Broad    110
Haddin c Bell b Harmison    14
Johnson c Bopara b Broad    27
Siddle b Broad    0
Clark b Broad    32
Hilfenhaus (not out)    0
Extras (B-9, LB-14, W-4, NB-3)    30     
Total (all out, 104.1 overs)    445
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-133, 3-140, 4-151, 5-303, 6-323, 7-393, 8-394, 9-440.
Bowling: Anderson 18-3-89-0, Harmison 23-4-98-2, Onions 22-5-80-2, Broad 25.1-6-91-6, Swann 16-4-64-0.
ENGLAND (II Innings)
Strauss lbw b Hilfenhaus    32
Cook c Haddin b Johnson    30
Bopara lbw b Hilfenhaus    0
Bell c Ponting b Johnson    3
Collingwood lbw b Johnson    4
Anderson (batting)    0
Prior (batting)    4
Extras (LB-3, NB-6)    9
Total (for 5 wkts, 32 overs)    82
Fall of wickets: 1-58, 2-58, 3-67, 4-74, 5-78.
Bowling: Hilfenhaus 11-2-37-2, Siddle 6-2-4-0, Clark 5-1-17-0, Johnson 10-2-21-3.

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