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Aussies wrest back control

FIRST ASHES TEST

Brisbane, Nov. 9 (Reuters): Australia regained control of the first Ashes Test on Saturday, ripping through the English batting then building a commanding 278-run lead with two days to go.

The tourists collapsed to be all out for 325 after resuming at 158 for one. Australia, ahead by 167 on the first innings, then tightened the screws on England, reaching 111 for two at close for an overall lead of 278.

Matthew Hayden was unbeaten on 40 at stumps, with Damien Martyn also on 40.

Andy Caddick gave the tourists a brief glimmer of hope when he dismissed Justin Langer for 22 and Ricky Ponting for three with a hostile opening spell. But Hayden and Martyn put on 72 in an unbroken third-wicket stand to leave the England batsman facing the daunting prospect of having to save the Test on the final two days.

Already a man down after Simon Jones injured his knee on Thursday, England lost their last eight wickets for 155.

McGrath claimed his 100th Ashes wicket when he dismissed Mark Butcher for 54 off the first ball of his 19th over.

He finished with figures of four for 87. Marcus Trescothick top-scored for England with 72 while John Crawley finished not out 69. Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain also completed half centuries but none of the England players went on to reach a hundred.

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