Saturday, 18 July 2009

Second Ashes Test, Lord's, Day Two

Sports - Cricket - Ashes

My picks of the second day:

James Anderson stole the show with the bat and ball on day two at Lord's. With Andrew Strauss and Stuart Broad out in the first couple of overs of the day, Australia thought they had done and dusted England. That was not the case thanks to the best last-wicket partnership between Anderson and Graham Onions. When England were eventually 425 all out, Anderson hit and hurt Australia even more taking four wickets, seizing control as part of a tremendous bowling display allround by England.

Run of Play: Advantage to...

1st session, England 425 all out, Australia 22 for 2 (403 behind) at lunch: England for wiping off the smiles of the Australian faces after they took two early wickets.

2nd session, Australia 87 for 2 (338 behind) at tea: Australia for holding through and keeping wickets through the rain, coming on and off the pitch.

3rd session, Australia 156 for 8 (269 behind) at the end of day two: England for crushing any hope the Australians had ending the day without much damage.

Partnership: 47 runs between James Anderson (29) and Graham Onions (17): Just when the Australians thought they were on a roll and would get the tailend of England out cheeply compared to the massive start of Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, in came Anderson and Onions with a record 10th wicket partnership. In his record-51st innings without a duck, Anderson looked confident, fulfilling an all-rounder's role, eventually getting caught at gully by Mike Hussey. At the start of the day Strauss and Stuart Broad were both bowled out by Ben Hilfenhaus, the only glimmer of hope in the Australian bowling line-up once again. It nearly looked like the tremendous opening partnership was going to be of little avail with the rest of the line-up having just crumbled away, until the last duo changed the beat.

Bowlers: James Anderson stole the show again taking two wickets before lunch and another two after tea breaking Australia to pieces. The wicket of Ricky Ponting looked dodgy, difficult to put a finger on it, but either way, if it was not a catch for Matt Prior and it did not hit the bat, then he would have been dead lbw anyway, so, out either way. Coming through the afternoon session and interruptions without losing wickets, Australia could be a little bit happier at tea, but then Anderson came back strong late in the day. With wicket contributions of Andrew Flintoff, Onions and Broad, Australia grabbed the chance to get off the field due to bad light. Great team work from the bowling quartet, led by the crown jewel James Anderson.

Ups: Just everything about England's bowling. They never looked like they were going to give anything away and they did not. What a difference to the first test!

Downs: Seeing Strauss get out, just the second ball of the day it looked like England were going to throw away a brilliant start. But Australia could not capitalise.

Hero ro zero: Mitchell Johnson has had another nightmare of a series so far looking helpless once again yesterday against an innovative Anderson. He was a storm against South Africa with spot-on strikes with the ball, but nowhere near that, nothing close to that he has shown so far - but still got a couple of wickets out of nowhere. Can only wait and see what happens when or if he gets his grip back...

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