Monday, 20 July 2009

Second Ashes Test, Lord's, Day Four

Sports - Cricket - Ashes

My picks of the fourth day:

An unbroken partnership of 185 runs between Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin kept England at bay and frustrated on day four of the second Ashes Test at Lord's. The homeside looked like they could end the Aussies' misery one day early as they took two early wickets after declaring and more crucial wickets after lunch. But Clarke and Haddin ended the controversial falls and flow of wickets giving the Aussies something to hold onto.

1st session, England declared 311 for 6 (521 lead), Australia 76 for 2 (446 behind) at lunch: England for getting the breakthrough they wanted early on.

2nd session, Australia 178 for 5 (344 behind) at tea: England for not giving Australia even a glance at control and no room for any partnership to develope with crucial wickets.

3rd session, Australia 313 for 5 (209 behind) at the end of day four: Australia for fighting back and making the impossible look more possible by every confident run and boundary.

Partnership: 185 runs between Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin: After England declared and put Australia on to bat after a slight delay in the morning, the day could not have started much worse for Australia. They lost wickets early on and it did not go much better after lunch. About an hour into the afternoon session they were five wickets down, but not without controversy with three of the decisions looking very dodgy. But Clarke and Haddin left those incidences well and truely behind them, giving England little room and only a few chances to appeal for, batting patiently and defiantly. If they make it through the morning on the last day, Australia could make the impossible possible. Records are there to be broken and the Aussies usually do.

Bowling: Andrew Flintoff stole the show early on but not without Australian captain Ricky Ponting voicing his disapproval on more than one accoasion: Simon Katich slashed one he should have left outside off stump to gully Kevin Pietersen - Flintoff having overstepped the line, though - 17 for 1. Phillip Hughes was then caught by captain Andrew Strauss at first slip but told by Ponting to stay put, spreading doubt about if it carried and Strauss got his fingers underneath the ball but of no avail, Australia were left reeling at 34 for 2. The controversy continued after lunch: The Aussie captain got out without a doubt, the ball by Stuart Broad rattling into the stumps. But Michael Hussey and Marcus North fell to Graeme Swann within six overs, the prior caught by Paul Collingwood at slip but did not appear to have nicked the ball, the latter comprehensively bowled through the gate though. So, two each for Flintoff and Swann, everything else but clear cut, though. Lucks but not undeserved either, with all the determination they showed and pressure they put on the Aussies. They will want to start the last day just the same.

Ups: England's bowlers showing determination and getting that little bit extra luck for it, too. If it would happen for the Aussies the same way, I do not think Ponting would have a problem with it. You always get rewarded when you put the pressure up and leave it on.

Downs: England looked clumsy in the field at times, leaking runs and extras which they should not, even with the big lead. They looked too much like Australia in the field at times and we know how they ended up, not good!

Hero to zero: Only England would be able to throw a lead like this away! Australia looked dead and burried an hour and a bit after lunch and now they have that glimmer of hope of getting something out of this match as long as Clarke and Haddin keep going. We will see if England can do the obvious or if Australia will do the impossible.

No comments: