Ashes 2nd Test, England vs Australia Day 2

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CRICKET-ENG-NZ-ANDERSENEngland won the first day by 2 sessions to 1. 346-6 at close with the skipper having carried his bat all day for 161 not out. Stuart Broad would accompany him to the crease this morning and with Graeme Swann still to come before the tail starts, England will have been looking at a score of 450 minimum. The Australians would hope that Johnson could put yesterday’s horror show behind him and make early inroads to leave England all out under 400. Just 50 runs the difference between a good morning for England and a good morning for Australia showing how finely balanced this game is after day one.

Here’s what happened on day two…

Oh Dear. Second ball of the day Strauss left one from Hilfenhaus which bent back in and took out his off stump. A huge misjudment, a disastrous start for England, Strauss gone without adding to his overnight score. England 7 down and 400 looking a long way off. Swann in next, Ponting and his men cock-a-hoop!

Argh!! Swann gone in the second over! Short from Siddle angling in at his ribs and edged to Ponting at 2nd slip. Swann gone for 4 and England 8 down. Gulp.

Ooh crumbs, as Penfold used to say. Broad didn’t last beyond the third over of the morning. Driving loosely outside off stump attempting to hit Hilfenhaus for the 3rd four of the over he dragged it back onto his stumps and gone for 16. You might argue that he felt it was worthwhile going for runs at this stage but surely 8 from the over would have done!? You can’t score runs from the dressing room after all. Big and bad he may be, but not better than his Dad this morning. Last man Onions in, England 378-9.

Woo hoo!! 400 hundred up for England. Ponting brings Johnno back on and his first over goes for 7 runs including a back foot drive from Anderson for 4. Good morning Mitchell, we’ve missed you. Anderson and Onions both looking to play their shots now, and why not. The two of them flayed away for a partnership of 47 before Johnson, who had been smashed for 25 from his previous 2 overs and 3 balls, had Anderson caught well at gully for 29. Onions 17 not out and England making it to 425 thanks to this last pair. They’d be happy with that given what happened in the first fifteen minutes of the day, but disappointed not to have got at least 450.

Got him! That’s out! Anderson and Flintoff opened up for England and both started with maidens, 4 from the first ball of Anderson’s second over and a wicket with the third! Hughes gone strangled down the leg side gloving an attempted hook through to Prior. Bad ball, great result. Australia 4-1 and Ponting to the crease who, ominously given this will likely be his last tour of England, has not registered a Test hundred at Lords. Watch this space…

Stop watching he’s out too! Inside edge on to pad and just carried to first slip. Caught Strauss bowled Anderson and what a series he is having so far! TV replays and hot spot show that Ponting didn’t hit it, he hit his boot but not the ball so he was not a happie chappie although Hawkeye says it was hitting so he could have been out LBW anyway. All of a sudden thanks to James Anderson first with the bat and then with the ball this became England’s morning! Remarkable stuff. Australia have batting to come yet though. Out of form Hussey in next.

Well well well. Lunchtime on day two and take a bow Jimmy Anderson. England got off to the worst start imaginable losing wickets in each of the first 3 overs of the day but made it up to 425 thanks to 29 from Anderson supported in his plundering by Graeme Onions who finished with 17. He then took two early wickets including that of the Australian captain to leave the Aussies 22-2 at lunch. Super stuff that.

Just two overs were possible after the lunch break before the players came off for rain. It had been promised and an afternoon of frustration was expected. Play resumed an hour later at 2.40pm and tea would be taken slightly later at than normal at 4.20pm. But only 3 and a half overs were possible before the players were off again and didn’t reappear until almost another hour had passed, at 3.40pm. Australia finally reached 50 in the 21st over of the innings and it was confirmed that despite 79 minutes of time off the field, only 4 overs had been lost. Assuming there was no more rain. Tea was taken at 4.20pm as planned, a fairly uneventful afternoon. 87-2, Katich 40* and Hussey 37*.

Hundred up in the 31st over, ship well and truly steadied, then out of nowhere Katich top edged a hook off Onions to fie leg where Broad took a fantastic diving catch. Katich gone for 48 and Australia 103-3. Add two wickets to that as Geoffrey always says… Fifty for the “out of form” Hussey from 82 balls. Shows what I know.

Nelson struck for the third time!! After 222 and 333 accounting for two English batsmen yesterday, 111 – with a little help from a certain burly Lancastrian – saw off Hussey. Clean bowled for 51, Australia 111-4 as Marcus North joined Michael Clarke at the crease.  But not for long as Jimmy A removed Clarke. Caught by Cook at midwicket for 1 and 111-5 now. Haddin in to try and stop the rot with 115 needed to avoid the follow on.

North gone!! 139-6 as North looked to pull a ball that wasn’t quite short enough for the shot and dragged it on. An agonising 14 ball quacker for the number six and Mitchell Johnson would have to do some serious batting to make up for his woeful performance with the ball. Still along way to the follow on total and England are having a wonderful day.

Johnson fared no better with the bat though, out for 4 from 11 balls. Third bouncer of the over from Broad and the Aussie quick couldn’t resist anymore, hooking it straight to Cook out at deep square leg. He was set up and fell hook, line and sinker! 148-7, Hauritz came out to bat at number 9 and his hand would surely be tested by the England seamers.

Just after 6 o’clock the light began to fade over Lords and Haddin wasted no time in pointing that much out to the umpires. His pleas were ignored though, just long enough for Broad to dig one in at him and see him hook tamely to midwicket. Cook took another catch Haddin’s resistance ended on 28 and with just 2 wickets left Australia were staring the follow on in the face still 70+ short.

Only one more over was possible before a combination of bad light and rain halted proceedings with Australia ending on 152-8. A quite brilliant performance by England today, barring the first 3 overs, with James Anderson the star of the show. Four wickets to add to his 29 runs this morning, England clear winners of day two. They should polish Australia off within the first hour tomorrow, it would be a travesty if Anderson didn’t finish with 5 for, and then it would be up to Strauss to decide whether to let his bowlers put their feet up for a day or so, or have another crack at things straight off. Rain rain go away…

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