The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hussain hundred puts England in command

Perth: Nasser Hussain scored Englandís first century of their Ashes tour on Tuesday to give his side a great chance of victory against Western Australia.

The England captain made 117 to help the tourists reach 327 and a first innings lead of 114, despite a late batting collapse.

Western Australia wiped 16 off the deficit in the seven overs they faced before stumps but lost opener Scott Meuleman for one along the way.

England have been heavily criticised after a poor start to their tour but finally showed that they were coming to terms with Australian conditions in time for next weekís first Test.

All six of Englandís specialist batsmen made contributions with none scoring fewer than 29 runs.

None, with the exception of Hussain, carried the job through but the Essex skipper made up for any shortcomings with a controlled innings full of purpose, batting more than four and a half hours, facing 220 balls and hitting 21 fours.

The late-order, which had saved England from humiliation in an earlier two-day game against Western Australia, failed to repeat their previous heroics as the last six wickets tumbled for 39 runs.

Main destroyer

Fast bowler Matthew Nicholson was the main destroyer, mopping up the tail to finish with figures of six for 79 from 19.5 overs.

With seven tricky overs to face, Western Australian captain and Test opener Justin Langer opted not to pad up for the second innings, sending out Mike Hussey and Meuleman instead.

Hussey hit two quick boundaries to reach the close unbeaten on 14 but Meuleman departed in the third over when he was trapped leg-before by paceman Andy Caddick.

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