But brit­tle Eng­land bat­ting or­der leaves the door open

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Eng­land slumped to 583 at stumps on the sec­ond day of the de­cid­ing fifth Ashes Test yes­ter­day af­ter Aus­tralia claimed three quick wick­ets to un­der­mine Stu­art Broad’s in­spi­ra­tional bowl­ing dis­play.

Eng­land still held an over­all lead of 230 runs.

Fif­teen wick­ets fell in a dra­matic day, which be­gan with Eng­land end­ing its first in­nings on 332, then dis­miss­ing Aus­tralia for 160 when Broad claimed 5-37. But, af­ter reach­ing 27-0, Eng­land was quickly re­duced to 39-3.

Alas­tair Cook was out for nine, caught at slip off spinner Mar­cus North, and Ian Bell and Paul Colling­wood were both caught by short leg fielder Si­mon Katich off Mitchell John­son for 4 and 1 re­spec­tively.

Cap­tain An­drew Strauss was 32 not out with debu­tant Jonathan Trott un­beaten on 8. The evening slump by Eng­land may have dented its chances of re­gain­ing the Ashes.

The six-week se­ries turned in a two-hour af­ter­noon ses­sion when Aus­tralia lost eight wick­ets, and even­tu­ally saw all 10 wick­ets fall for 87 runs in 30 overs and 138 min­utes, hav­ing reached 61-0 at lunch.

Broad sparked the col­lapse by grab­bing the first four Aus­tralian wick­ets in a 21-ball burst in which he con­ceded eight runs, ex­tract­ing swing and seam on an un­usu­ally bowler-friendly pitch at The Oval.

He went on to record his third five-wicket Test haul af­ter tak­ing best fig­ures of 6-91 in the last match that Aus­tralia won by an in­nings to level the se­ries at 1-1.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann ex­ploited a dry, dusty pitch that took spin from the first day. Aus­tralia opted to omit its lead­ing spin bowler Nathan Hau­ritz.

Aus­tralia seemed well placed at lunch, but col­lapsed fol­low­ing a 50-minute rain de­lay af­ter the in­ter­val. Opener Shane Wat­son for­tu­nate to sur­vive an lbw ap­peal against An­drew Flintoff when on 4, was dis­missed lbw by Broad for 34, which made the score 73-1 af­ter um­pire Asad Rauf ’s ear­lier er­ror.

Cap­tain Ricky Ponting’s first runs came off an in­side edge for four off Broad, who then bowled him off the in­side edge next over for 8 with an off-cut­ter.

Michael Hussey was out lbw for 0 to Broad in the next over af­ter play­ing a half­hearted push, Michael Clarke scored 3 from seven balls be­fore caught by Trott at short cover and North was next to de­part, un­luck­ily given out lbw for 8 by Rauf de­spite get­ting an in­side edge on his pad.

Opener and top-scorer Katich (50) was the last of the top six to fall when his 170-minute in­nings was ended by an in­side edge on to his pad to short-leg fielder Cook.

The score then stood at 109-6, which was 111-7 when No 7 Brad Haddin was bowled by Broad’s per­fectly shaped out-swinger.

John­son was out five min­utes be­fore tea for 11 when he edged Swann to wick­et­keeper Matt Prior.

Swann played his part in the chaos with a spell of 3-11 from 27 balls.

Af­ter tea, Stu­art Clark was given out by Rauf for an ap­par­ent in­side edge on to his pad off Swann even though the ball missed his bat by sev­eral inches. An­drew Flintoff, play­ing his fi­nal test, bowled Ben Hil­fen­haus for the last wicket. – AP


GAME BREAKER: Eng­land’s Stu­art Broad (cen­tre) is swamped by his team mates af­ter dis­miss­ing Aus­tralia’s Michael Clarke.

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