Swann on song as Aussies suffer Lord’s collapse
GRAEME SWANN bowled England into a commanding position on the second day of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s yesterday.
The off- spinner took five wickets for 44 runs in 21.3 overs as Australia collapsed to 128 all out in reply to England’s first innings 361.
But he insisted he’d bowled better at Trent Bridge.
“I felt I bowled well last week, I didn’t feel I bowled as well here but I’m pragmatic enough to know I’ll take a fivefor whenever they come,” Swann told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special after 16 wickets fell in the day.
“The plan for us will be to score as many as possible tomorrow (Saturday) and then have two days bowling on a dry pitch.”
With so much time left, and not wanting to bat last on a wearing pitch, Ashes-holders England, 1-0 up in the fivematch series, opted against enforcing the follow-on.
Peter Siddle then gave Australia hope with a return of three wickets for four runs in five overs.
England captain Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott both played on before Kevin Pietersen loosely carved the paceman to Chris Rogers at point.
Although England were 31 for three in their second innings at stumps, they still led by 264 runs. Joe Root, missed on eight when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin didn’t go for a chance, was 18 not out and nightwatchman Tim Bresnan unbeaten on nought.
How Australia’s top-order performed was always likely to be a key factor in whether they could regain the Ashes and, unlike the first Test, the tail was unable to cover up the failings of the specialist batsmen.
Australia were all out inside 54 overs and, after opener Shane Watson was out for an innings top score of 30, they lost the rest of their wickets for 86 runs.
Bresnan took two wickets to spark an initial collapse that saw Australia’s 42 without loss transformed into 53 for three.
Watson looked good making 30. But, playing across his pad, Watson was lbw to Bresnan.
Soon after lunch Rogers was lbw in bizarre fashion – the lefthander, missed a pull at a Swann full toss, after the ball appeared to slip out of the bowler’s hand, and was ‘boxed’, although replays later indicated the ball would have missed leg stump.
Phil Hughes fell next, out for one when he nicked a wide delivery from Bresnan to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Dharmasena raised his finger but Hughes sought a review only for Hill to decide there was insufficient evidence to overturn the original verdict.
There was no doubt, however, about the manner in which Australia were four down.
Usman Khawaja was dropped on seven off Swann. But he still gave his wicket away to the spinner on 14 when he holed out to Pietersen at mid-off.
Not for the first time, Australia captain Michael Clarke, came in with his side in trouble. But he couldn’t get them out of it, making 28 before he was lbw to a full length Stuart Broad delivery. – AFP