Record partnership puts Australia in charge

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 27, 2010 05:52 hrs

Brisbane: Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin both hit magical centuries in a record unbroken partnership of 293 to put Australia firmly in control of the first Ashes test at tea on the third day at the Gabba on Saturday.

Hussey was unbeaten on 176 with Haddin, who brought up his century with a six, on 134 not out as they continued to defy England's luckless bowlers to take the hosts to 436 for five, a first innings lead of 176 runs.

The pair, who had come together on Friday with Australia precariously placed at 143 for five, played measured cricket to weather England's new ball onslaught in the morning before tearing off the shackles as the tourists toiled in the afternoon heat.

The partnership is the highest in a test match at the Gabba, beating Don Bradman and Lindsay Hassett's 276 for Australia in the 1946-47 Ashes series.



Lefthander Hussey, who had said that the opening session could be pivotal in a tight match, rode his luck early on as he crept run-by-run towards his 12th test century.

Wicketkeeper Haddin, who had resumed on 25, stifled his attacking instincts but still scored more freely than his partner, first to put Australia past England's first innings tally of 260 then to bring up his sixth test 50.

It was not long, though, before Hussey, who had been under pressure for his place in the team before the series, brought up his century with a four through the covers, sparking wild celebrations from another packed house.

A euphoric Hussey pumped his fists then raised his bat and helmet in the air as he took the ovation before embracing Haddin in the middle of the wicket.

Haddin, returning to test cricket after missing the tour of India through injury, was not to be outdone and matched his partner's feat in some style after lunch by clubbing a six over spin bowler Graeme Swann's head to long-on.

It would all have been so different but for the umpire referral system.

Hussey had added just one run to his overnight total of 81 when he was given out lbw to James Anderson but a review of the TV pictures showed the ball had pitched outside leg stump and umpire Aleem Dar's decision was overturned.

Images: Day 2

 Soon afterwards, the 35-year-old was giving thanks that England had already used the two reviews they are allowed in each innings when Dar turned down a loud shout for lbw from Anderson.

Replays showed Hussey would have gone had an appeal been available to England.

England's luck did not improve when Paul Collingwood came on to bowl later in the morning when Alastair Cook got his finger tips to a looping shot from Haddin but failed to hold the catch.

Anderson also dropped Haddin off Stuart Broad, losing the ball in the afternoon sun shortly before Hussey secured his 150 courtesy of a misfield by Swann.

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