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Australia facing record run chase at Lord's

  • Story Highlights
  • England build 521-run lead at end of the third day of the second Ashes Test
  • England reach 311-6 when rain causes play to be halted late in day at Lord's
  • Matt Prior top-scored with a rapid 61 and Paul Collingwood made a solid 54
  • Andrew Strauss decided not to enforce follow-on after Australia all out for 215
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(CNN) -- England continued to dominate the second Ashes Test against Australia after building a 521-run lead with four wickets remaining when rain halted play late on the third day at Lord's.

Andrew Strauss continued his fine form with the bat as Australia's bowlers again struggled on day three.

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke looks dejected as the English batsmen build a big score.

Captain Andrew Strauss decided not to make the tourists follow on after Australia's final two wickets fell within the first hour of play on resumption on Saturday.

And his batsmen took toll on the wayward Australian attack, with the hosts reaching 311-6 at stumps after blitzing 181 runs in an extended final session.

Paul Collingwood's dismissal for 54 proved to be the final act of the day, and it remains to be seen how long England will keep batting before Strauss declares to set the tourists a daunting run chase - no side has ever scored more than 418 to win a Test.

Matt Prior top-scored with 61 as he added a whirlwind 86 with Collingwood, who put on another 51 with Andrew Flintoff. The all-rounder was unbeaten on 30 in what will be his final Test innings at Lord's, having announced before the match that he will be retiring from the five-day format after the five-match series.

Earlier, Graham Onions claimed two wickets in three overs as the Australians, 156-8 overnight in reply to England's first-innings 425, capitulated for a meager total of 215.

Strauss and fellow opener Alastair Cook then continued their fine form as an opening partnership as they put on an unbroken 57 in the 13 overs before lunch, but spinner Nathan Hauritz dismissed them both in consecutive overs soon after the break.

Cook, who compiled 95 in their first-innings stand of 196, was trapped leg before wicket for an aggressive 32, while Strauss - who made 161 in the first innings - went for the same score as his fellow left-hander when he edged to Michael Clarke at slip.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting then dropped Ravi Bopara at second slip off the bowling of Peter Siddle, and the No. 3 went on to make 27 before becoming the third victim of Hauritz, who shrugged off the effects of a dislocated finger suffered on Thursday.

Bopara had added 73 with Kevin Pietersen, who was next to fall at 174-4 when he was caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin from an inside edge off Siddle for 44.

Prior smashed 61 off only 42 deliveries before being run out by Marcus North's direct hit, while Collingwood went on to complete his third half-century in four innings.

It was another depressingly sloppy day in the field for the tourists, with Haddin conceding 16 byes.

Hauritz (3-80) was one of the few bowlers to salvage some pride, along with seamer Siddle (2-64).

Hauritz also impressed with the bat, making a stubborn 24 as Australia failed to pass the follow-on target of 226.

Resuming on three overnight, he helped add 44 for the ninth wicket with Siddle before he edged a ball from Onions to Collingwood at third slip.

Hauritz had earlier survived when Cook could not take a sharp chance at short leg when the tailender fended at a short ball from a Stuart Broad.

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Siddle made a Test-best 35 from 47 deliveries, hitting five boundaries until Onions struck again as the No. 10 edged to Strauss at first slip.

The English are seeking their first win against Australia at Lord's in 75 years, with the series level after the tense drawn opening match at Cardiff.

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