The Ashes, Second Test, Third day’s play at The Lord’s
Stuart Broad started off the day’s proceedings with a barrage of bouncers at Siddle, but Siddle and Hauritz managed to hang on and closed in on the follow-on target. Hauritz fell to Onions for 24 with Australia still 33 short of the follow-on target. Siddle and Hilfy then scraped together a few runs before Siddle fell for 35, Australia were 11 short of the follow-on target. The English bowling was not very good, with short and wide balls being the order of the day, or rather the hour. Broad was the worst offender, with a bucketful of bouncers and a wealth of wide deliveries. It seems the quality of batting tailenders has improved these days, or it could be the lack of quality bowling, like trying to bounce them out. We’ll soon see a No.10 with a batting average better than a No.5 or 6.
Andrew Strauss chose not to enforce the follow-on, and came out to bat. The thought of giving away the sunny day to the Aussie batsmen must have weighed on his mind along with the last day pitch conditions. Cook and Strauss played some great cricketing shots in a sunny second hour, going to lunch at 52 without loss. Shortly after lunch, Cook fell leg before to a Hauritz delivery which turned barely enough to go towards middle-leg. He had scored 32, with England at 61. Strauss fell soon to Hauritz’s guile for 32, an outside edge carrying to Clarke at first slip. Bopara played two nice delicate shots for boundaries to the third man either side of his captain’s dismissal that left Siddle fuming.
Ponting dropped a sitter off Siddle at second slip and gave Bopara a reprieve. But KP and Bop got bogged down and played innings uncharasteric of them. At tea England were 130-2, KP on 28 off 73 and Bop on 19 off 78! A few balls from Siddle to Bopara were the only deliveries that gave some moments in the dull hour before tea.
The extended final session began with Bopara driving Hauritz through the covers. But the bowler had the last laugh in his next over with a straighter one which Bopara could only glove into Katich’s hands at short-leg. This has been Bopara’s most boring innings to date that I’ve seen. Collingwood came in and kicked off things. It rubbed off on KP as he helped himself to a couple of boundaries off a Siddle over. He was finally out to Siddle wih a loose shot taking the inside edge to Brad ‘I’ve had enough byes’ Haddin. These 44 runs are among KP’s slowest I presume.
Prior came in and proved why he’s a better batsman than he’s a ‘keeper. He batted fluently along with Collingwood bringing up the 50 partnership at run a ball. However he fell to a fantastic throw from North at deep point. North hit bull’s eye and caught Prior a long way out. Prior had made 61 excellent runs off 42 balls with several drives and sweeps. Freddie came in and continued from where Prior had left, taking full toll with several twos. He had just added 50 runs with Prior when the rain set in. Off the last ball, Collingwood got out to Siddle. There was no appeal, but he just walked when he was on 54. England ended the day at 311-6, a lead of 521 making many wonder if Strauss would go for an overnight declaration. I guess England would extend their lead to nearly 600 and then have 5 sessions, weather permitting to bowl for a rare Ashes victory at The Lord’s.
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