Ashes: Michael Hussey & Brad Haddin punish sorry England
Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin produced a mammoth partnership to put Australia in complete control of the first Test on day three in Brisbane.
Hussey (195) and Haddin (136) took their side out of day two’s vulnerable position to propel the hosts past England’s first innings total with a stand of 307.
England had to wait until the final session of day three to finish the Australian innings as Steven Finn removed Hussey before running through the tail to end with 6-125 on his Ashes debut.
Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook both ended the day unbeaten with England trailing Australia by 202 on 19-0.
The new ball was immediately taken at the early start of 9.30am – and James Anderson utilised it effectively from the off. In the third over Hussey was given out by Aleem Dar only for the decision to be reversed after an Australian appeal.
From here on in England toiled in the Brisbane heat. Hussey completed his 12th test ton with a cover drive off Stuart Broad and celebrated with raw emotion. Times have been tough for the Western Australia batsman with so many piling the pressure on his test place – but this was the perfect response.
Australia were 329-5 at lunch and the partnership moved on past the 200 mark with Haddin now hitting the accelerator against Graeme Swann.
And it was off Swann that the wicketkeeper notched up his third test match ton with a towering six off the England off-spinner. Anderson could have brought the partnership to an end but spilled a chance off Broad at mid-on.
The incredible partnership finally came to an end with the pair falling in quick succession as Paul Collingwood took a stunning catch at slip off Swann. Hussey then followed after pulling Finn to Cook.
Finn made light work of the tail to claim his six wickets and England were left with a tough 15-over spell before the close. Both openers safely negotiated the overs but both were subject to strong lbw shouts.
An extra special display will be required by England’s batsmen if the tourists are to create a position for them to win the match but avoiding defeat will now clearly be the visitors’ priority.