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Australia tighten grip

Melbourne: Justin Langer scored 250 on Friday as Australia compiled 551 for six on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test against England.

England were 97 for three at stumps with Nasser Hussain on 17 and night-watchman Richard Dawson yet to score.

Australia, who resumed at 356 for three with Langer on 146, piled on another 299 before captain Steve Waugh, who made 77, declared with debutant Martin Love unbeaten on 62.

Langer, who was dropped on 223, became the eighth Australian to reach 250 and the third to do so in Melbourne.

Australia have already won the five-match series, having the won the first three Tests.

Langer was finally caught by Andy Caddick at gully off off-spinner Dawson after a 407-ball stay which lasted 22 minutes short of 10 hours.

The left-handed opener blasted 30 boundaries and one six in his 13th Test century. Langer had added 129 in 239 balls for the fourth wicket with Waugh before the captain edged Craig White to wicketkeeper James Foster.

When England started batting, Michael Vaughan was bowled by Glenn McGrath in the seventh over.

Hussain survived a loud appeal for caught behind and reached 14 before he was given not out by the third umpire.

Hussain hit Stuart MacGill to Jason Gillespie at mid-off who dived forward and claimed the catch. England coach Duncan Fletcher said the decision had to be left to the third umpire. “If you look on the replay there was some doubt,” he said.

Lehmann out

Darren Lehmann, who missed the fourth Test with a groin infection, has ruled himself out of next week’s final Test. He said he hoped to play in Australia’s next ODI against Sri Lanka on January 9. (Reuters)

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