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from Left field:

Ricky’s woes continue as Aussies struggle in Perth

Ponting dismissed

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting failed for the fourth time in five innings in the current Ashes series as the hosts struggled to 179-6 at tea on the first day of the third test against England.  

His captaincy may be under threat but with his team mates  (Mike Hussey excepted) also failing at the crease, his place as a batsman looks safe for a while now.  

Having said that, the Australian selectors have made some pretty bizarre decisions over the last few weeks, not least plucking spinner Michael Beer from obscurity and putting him into their squad for Perth only to go with four quicks and leave him carrying the drinks.  

Tim Wimborne's picture shows the reaction of England bowler James Anderson, who had the Australia skipper out for 12 courtesy of a stunning leaping catch from slip fielder Paul Collingwood.

from Left field:

Should England bring back Harmison for Lord’s?

I am probably not the only one arriving at work today with fingers gnawed to the bone following England's nail-biting escape in the first Ashes test in a stunning finale in Cardiff, capping a memorable opening match to the series.

Despite near domination for five days, Australia failed to capitalise on early England wickets on the final day as the Three Lions' tail wagged heroically to secure a draw from the jaws of defeat against the old enemy.

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