England dominated day 2 of the second NPower Ashes Test match, with a strong bowling performance that has left them well placed with Australia needing 79 runs to avoid the follow on with only two first innings wickets in hand.
Andrew Strauss failed to add to his overnight score – and England as a team didn’t look like adding many more after losing 3 wickets in three consecutive overs. A near half century partnership from no 10 and 11 James Anderson and Graham Onions saw England move well past 400.
After that the day was England’s. Poor batting cost the tourists dear, and England will move into day 3 well on top with the possibility of winning their first Ashes test at Lords since 1934.
Strauss’ resistance didn’t last much longer into day two, bowled leaving a ball off Ben Hilfenhaus – not adding to his overnight score of 161. Graham Swann came and went in the blink of an eye – edging the ball straight to Ricky Ponting in the slips, the Australian captain taking the easiest catch you’re ever going to see in the slips, Siddle picking up his second wicket of the innings.
As if things couldn’t get any worse for England – they did. After previously edging a ball just past the stumps, Broad then chopped on the following ball – England had lost 3 wickets in 3 overs, and were now in danger of not making 400 – despite Andrew Strauss targeting a “minimum” of 450 on the eve of Day 2.
England’s innings wasn’t over yet though, James Anderson partnered by Graham Onions frustrated the Australian attack, passing the 400 mark with a relative amount of ease. Mitchell Johnson’s boundary problems weren’t confined to day 1 either – Anderson striking him for successive fours. The partnership fell just shy of 50 – but it was much needed after a disastrous start to day 2 for England, all out for 425.
England got off to the best possible start, after previously crashing Anderson to the cover boundary – Phillip Hughes gloved the ball off an attempted hook to keeper Matt Prior. England’s start got even better when Ponting inside edged the ball onto his pad, that carried to Andrew Strauss in the slips – Australia slipping to 10/2. Ponting was unhappy with the decision, the bat appear to hit the boot – rather than the ball. However, hawkeye suggested that the ball would’ve been crashing into leg stump – the wrong method to the right decision.
Australia survived the rest of the morning session, and a 4 over stint after lunch before a short burst of rain came. Another short burst of overs was followed by another shower. The teams came back out again at 3:40pm. Australia’s Simon Katich and Michael Hussey worked on building Australia’s score. Although Hussey can count himself lucky that a mis-timed hook shot landed wide at deep backward square. Australia entered tea on 87/2.
After a slow period after tea, Simon Katich miss-pulled Graham Onions to fine leg, Stuart Broad running around took a superb diving catch to dismiss the Australian – Katich falling two short of a half century.
Andrew Flintoff removed Michael Hussey with a 95 mph delivery that Hussey left, the ball did very little – maybe bouncing a little less than Mr Cricket was expecting – but nonetheless – a superb delivery – Hussey going for 51. England’s day got better when – the following ball – Michael Clarke flicked a delivery from James Anderson to Alastair Cook at short mid wicket. With that, both batsmen at the crease hadn’t faced the ball.
And things went from bad – to worse, for the tourists. Marcus North chopping James Anderson onto his stumps, Australia floundering at 139/6. A procession became a rout when Mitchell Johnson hooked Stuart Broad down to Alastair Cook at deep backward square.
Another one – this time Haddin. Australia still needing 78 to avoid the follow on, Brad Haddin pulling the ball to mid wicket. The floodlights – causing shadows – we enough for the umpires to offer the batsmen the light, and Australia naturally took it.
The visitors end day two in deep trouble, the first three overs of the day aside – its been all England. An ill-disciplined batting performance has left their tail needing to do some serious work on just saving the follow on. England will look to skittle Australia out tomorrow, and then hammer home their advantage with possibly enforcing the follow on.