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Australia edge closer to Ashes win

The hosts are 119 for one in their second innings at stumps on day two of the third Test, an overall lead of 148 over the wilting England side.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 19:51 IST

Australia edged closer to regaining the Ashes, dominating the second day of the third cricket Test after another spectacular English collapse at the crease on Friday.

Australia were 119 for one in their second innings at stumps, an overall lead of 148 over the wilting tourists. They lead in the five-Test series 2-0 and can take back the Ashes with a win at Perth's Waca Ground.

Eager to atone for last year's defeat, captain Ricky Ponting seemed to have the scent of Ashes success. He was 57 not out, with opener Matthew Hayden emerging from a recent form slump also on 57.

The pair steadied the Australian innings with a century partnership after opener Justin Langer was bowled for a first ball duck by a perfect Matthew Hoggard inswinger on the first ball of the innings.

The English appeared despondent in the field late in a day that had started out with so much promise. They resumed at 51 for two, having dismissed the home side for just 244.

But things went awry almost from the start, with Paul Collingwood falling in the fourth over of the day to spark another collapse.

The English slumped to 128 for seven at one stage before a late rally by Kevin Pietersen (70) and tailenders Steve Harmison (23) and Monty Panesar (16 not out) enabled them to get to 215.