4 Jan 2011

Australian tail helps lift home side to decent total but England still in control

6:02 pm on 4 January 2011

England are 98 for 1 in the final session on day two of the fifth and final Ashes cricket test in Sydney, as Australia struggle to find wickets and put any pressure on the tourists after being bowled out for 280 earlier in the day.

Captain Andrew Strauss was bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus for 60, but if the home side can't find some way of restricting the tourists batsmen or taking several quick wickets, then tourists are looking likely to claim an impressive first innings lead.

Earlier in the day the Australian tail wagged with the home side's batsmen hanging on to lift Australia to a first innings total of 280.

Fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus entered the fray with Australia precariously perched at 189 for 8, and stubbornly denied the England bowler's attempts to mop up the home sides tail before Mitchell fell for 53, Australia's highest score, and Hilfenhaus was caught for 34.

The tourists have already retained the Ashes courtesy of their innings and 157-run victory in Melbourne last week but Australia could still square the series at 2-2 with a victory this week.

However England are determined to win an Ashes series in Australia for the first time in 24 years, and their bowlers put in yet another session of disciplined and accurate bowling to take control of the match.