Shamik Das

Saturday, December 16, 2006

'Ol Gil pummels Poms to take hosts to brink of glory

"You gotta help ol' Gil to win back the Ashes"

Perth, Third Test, Third Day: England 215 & 19/1 v Australia 244 & 527/5 dec. (Clarke 135*. Hussey 103, Gilchrist 102*,
Hayden 92, Ponting 75; Panesar 3-145)

Adam Gilchrist struck the second fastest century in Test history to put Australia within touching distance of the Ashes.

Gilchrist's 57 ball, run-a-minute hundred was the quickest ever by an Australian, and took just one ball more than Viv Richards's 80 minute, 56 ball ton 20 years ago - also against England, also on his home ground.

Adam Gilchrist slaps Monty Panesar back over his head for six    Adam Gilchrist celebrates his thrill-a-minute century

The left-hander's innings lit up the third day, with Monty Panesar coming in for the harshest treatment. Gilchrist struck 24 runs off one Monty over - .26646 - and raced away to his second fifty off just 17 balls.

The world's best wicketkeeper/batsman has now struck a world record 97 sixes in Test cricket, in addition to 123 in One Day Internationals.

Below is the wagon wheel of Gilchrist's innings:

The wagon wheel of Ol' Gil's century, illustrating the range and power of his shots

Also in the runs on the middle day of the 2006/7 Ashes were the not out overnight batsmen Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden, who scored 75 and 92 respectively ...

Ricky Ponting  Matthew Hayden  Michael Hussey  Michael Clarke

... while Michael Hussey (103) and Michael Clarke (135 not out) will consider themselves unlucky to have their centuries overshadowed by Gilchrist's heroics.

For England the equation is simple: Chase down a world record fourth innings winning score of 557 or pray for rain or bat out 180 overs; otherwise say goodbye to the urn.

Catch the third day's highlights tonight on BBC Two at 11:00, and listen to live coverage of day four on Radio 4 198LW and the
BBC Sport website from 2:30am.


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