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England up against it as visitors dominate

Australia amassed four centuries in an Ashes innings for the first time on Saturday with debutants Marcus North and Brad Haddin joining Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting on the honours' board. See Scorecard

cricket Updated: Jul 12, 2009 11:48 IST

Australia amassed four centuries in an Ashes innings for the first time on Saturday with debutants Marcus North and Brad Haddin joining Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting on the honours' board.

North (125*) scored his second century in three Tests during a sixth wicket partnership of 200 with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (121). Both men were making their Ashes debuts.

Haddin's dismissal caught on the mid-wicket boundary was the signal for Ponting to declare Australia's first innings at 674 for six, a lead of 239.

England's hopes of saving the game then received a significant blow when Alastair Cook (6) and Ravi Bopara (1) were both dismissed lbw in the space of eight balls before tea. At the interval, England were 20 for two with Andrew Strauss (6) and Kevin Pietersen (3) at the crease.

Australia, 479 for five overnight in reply to England's 435, carried on much as they had on Friday with Haddin taking over from Michael Clarke as the aggressor and North playing the supporting role. North, 54 overnight, brought up his century just before lunch.

Haddin was far more flamboyant, striking Graeme Swann over mid-wicket for six to bring up the 600. He hit a straight six off Monty Panesar and raced to his hundred from 138 balls. A third six from Paul Collingwood followed before he struck the same bowler to Bopara.