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Watson limps off as England consolidates

Friday, December 27, 2013

MELBOURNE - The familiar sight of Shane Watson limping off the field and England's determined batting have halted Australia's charge to a 5-0 Ashes sweep.

Leading the five-match series 3-0, Australia captain Michael Clarke made the bold decision on Thursday to bowl first in overcast conditions in the fourth Test at the MCG.

England reached 3-135 at tea with Ian Bell on 11 and Kevin Pietersen fighting his attacking instincts to score an unbeaten 20 off 57 balls.

Watson has the tidy figures of 1-11 but pulled up short as he attempted to run in to bowl the fifth ball of his seventh over.

Watson's list of previous injuries have included hamstring and calf concerns.

His latest drama seemingly opens the door for allrounder James Faulkner to win a recall for the fifth Test in Sydney on January 3.

Pietersen was once again part of the drama as well. The star No.4 was caught on the fine-leg boundary by Nathan Coulter-Nile on six, but the sub fielder overbalanced and stumbled across the boundary rope.

Coulter-Nile, replacing Watson, made an unsuccessful attempt to throw the ball back in the air and regather it.