Close of play – England 332 (Bell 72) & 58/3: Australia 160 (Broad 5/37)
England lead by 230 runs with 7 wickets remaining.
Stuart Broad produced a spell of bowling after lunch which has blown the whole Ashes series wide open. With Australia on 73/0 and looking in total control Broad turned the match on its head with an inspired spell of bowling which seen him finish with figures of 5/37 from 12 overs.
Australia wasted little time in the morning moping up the last 2 English wickets for 25 more runs, including a duck for James Anderson at last. Openers Shane Watson and Simon Katich were then given a tough examination with the new ball from Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson, with Flintoff virtually unplayable during his opening spell and unlucky not to pick up the wicket of Watson whom he seemed to have plumb leg before.
The Aussies openers whethered that particular storm before the rain came on the stroke of lunch leaving them at 61/0. When played resumed after an extended lunch Strauss gave Broad his first bowl of the innings and he responded in spectacular fashion with the wicket of Watson with the last ball of his 1st over.
After Broad removed Ponting in his 3rd over that seemed to spark the collapse with Australia’s batsmen seeming to get the jitters – England style – and batting seemed to become almost impossible for them with probably doubts about the pitch and the pressure of the situation getting to them resulting in a constant stream of batters heading back to the pavillion in a fashion not seen since? oh yes, England at Headingley!
Next to go to Broad was the uncertain Hussey – leg before – who has had a series to forget, he then got Michael Clarke who was brilliantly caught by Trott playing a shot through cover before Swann got in on the act with the wicket of Marcus North – who to fair was given out to a stinker, lbw after a massive inside edge.
Swann then removed Katich to a bat pad catch before Broad completed his 5 wicket haul getting Brad Haddin with an unplayable inswinging yorker, arguably the ball of the day. Graeme Swann then finished off the tail with two more wickets – including another shocker for Stuart Clark, this time given out caught bat pad when the ball was a good 6 inches away from his bat – and Andrew Flintoff got last man Hilfenhaus leaving Australia all out for just 160.
Australia being the team they are refuse to be beaten easily though, and England being the team they are will also attempt to throw this away yet. That is exactly what happened when England came out to bat with Australia picking up the wickets of Cook, Bell and Collingwood cheaply throwing themselves a massive lifeline.
The Aussies will still believe that if they can clean up the rest of England’s batting fairly cheaply on Saturday morning that they are still in this match. At the moment England’s lead is 230 and although it should still be hard to chase Australia would surely take a target of 300 now. With England’s batsmen already giving away cheap 2nd innings wickets they may well not be out of this game just yet.
An exciting 3rd day is in prospect.
3rd Day Betting