Ponting in fine touch as Aussies fight back

SYDNEY - England produced an improved bowling performance but Australia ended day two of the final Ashes Test on 188-4 in reply to the tourists' 291 all out.

SYDNEY - England produced an improved bowling performance but Australia ended day two of the final Ashes Test on 188-4 in reply to the tourists' 291 all out.

Steve Harmison took 2-34 and England had the bonus of Ricky Ponting's wicket for 45 - the Aussie captain was in fine touch before running himself out.

Earlier, England subsided quickly from an overnight 234-4 but captain Andrew Flintoff (89) emerged with credit.

Disappointingly, England's last five men produced only four runs.

Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath and Stuart Clark all finished with three wickets.

The second new ball was taken as soon as play began on Wednesday and McGrath and Lee looked dangerous immediately. Paul Collingwood was dropped by Justin Langer in the slips in Lee's first over, but in any case added just two to his overnight 25 before edging a McGrath lifter to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist. - BBC

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