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    Twin centuries torture England


    by ODN


    England faced a long battle to save the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, after Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin's twin hundreds helped forge a monumental sixth-wicket stand of 307.

    Hussey (195) and Haddin (136) put on a ground record for any wicket to help Australia pile up a first-innings total of 481 all out, and lead of 221, by mid-evening on day three.

    That left an awkward period for England's openers to face before stumps but, despite a close lbw shout against Andrew Strauss from the first ball of the innings, they held out to reach the close at 19-0.

    With the Australian pair resuming on 220 for five, England's four-strong bowling attack did not flag up to lunch but wilted afterwards as their fruitless efforts and inevitable frustration took a toll.

    Steven Finn (six for 125) then took the last four wickets at a personal cost of 14 runs - but none of that altered the fact England would have to bat for the next day-and-a-half at least to stop their hosts going 1-0 up. Hussey brought up his century with a supremely-placed drive off Stuart Broad wide of mid-off this morning.

    Natural shotmaker Haddin, initially the silent partner, became more typically expansive - and he reached three figures in the grand manner with a six.