Friday, 26 November 2010

Defiant Hussey keeps Aussie heads high

Sports - Cricket - Ashes - 1st Test - Brisbane - Day 2

My picks of the second day:

England were unable to take advantage of wickets taken and partnerships broken, with Mike Hussey staring and hitting in an unbeaten 81 to steady the ship. James Anderson and Steven Finn took two wickets each and Graeme Swann nicked one too after being left out for most of the day apart from one over here and one over there. Apart from those breakthroughs, the Aussies' beautiful batting and (numerous) exemplary boundaries took command of the second day at Brisbane, England needing a similar session to the second of today if they want to gain any kind of advantage in the game.

Run of play: Advantage to...

1st session, Australia 96 for 1, 164 behind, at lunch: The morning definitely goes to Australia, eventhough Anderson got a breakthrough for England, they looked solid and comfortable, dominating most of the morning and the scoreboard with it. Worrying for England.

2nd session, Australia 168 for 5, 92 behind, at tea: England - just! Hussey with some beautiful play and plenty of runs and boundaries, looking like he may be the one to save Australia from falling and failing similar to England after the visitors thought they were taking over control and the game.

3rd session, Australia 220 for 5, 40 behind, at the end of day two: Australia steady the ship - wonderful cricket and partnership by Hussey and Haddin with boundary after boundary, beauty after beauty, frustrating the England bowlers after they though they had taken over in the afternoon.

Partnerships: The opening partnership of 78 between Simon Katich and Shane Watson got England worried this could end up a thrash. They looked too comfortable in the first session. Then when the wickets started to fall in a regular-ish basis, it looked like the Aussies were going to fall similar to how England crumbled apart - but then Hussey and Brad Haddin took over the game in entertaining fashion. Hussey reached his 22nd Test fifty and continued in confident, solid fashion with some fine shots. Haddin joined in as good as he could with boundaries - a partnership 77 which brought up the 200 for Australia. Some cracking shots and boundary after boundary and good running between the two. England will be looking to break up this twosome as soon as possible on day three.

Bowling: Anderson and Finn enjoyed most control and success in the afternoon session. Both saw much more movement on the pitch which caused much more worry and flattering nerves for Australia. It was a surprise that Swann didn't see any more overs with his bowling history and record, against the Aussies and in general. Maybe we will see more of him on the third day, although he did concede a lot of runs against the confident and flashy Aussie batsmen. It depends on the weather, how the pitch will turn and who Andrew Strauss will choose to change the trend of the game so far... Stuart Broad hasn't had an innings to write home about so far, but, again, we will see how the conditions will change that. It is still early days... The third day will tell more...

Ups: For England, definitely the second session. They finally got the breakthrough and control they needed. It got the crowd and game going. It looked very much like the Aussies' innings could have ended up very similar to England's and the game much more competitive then expected. But then...

Downs: England gave away their reviews, losing the confidence and Australia took over the game again, bit by bit, boundary by boundary. Then the weather spoiled the end and any chance of wickets late on... Hopefully the pitch won't be too soaked through, otherwise the new ball will come at no advantage to England...

Hero to zero: Swann went from top to flop in a day, from the ECB Cricketer of the Year, to the odd-over bowler and conceding many runs. Obviously it depends on the pitch, weather and stage of the game, how the Aussies are tempered, but still, if you want to turn a game around, you have to make changes and I think Strauss didn't make enough on the day to keep the Aussies worried...

Australia v England first Test day two as it happened

- Aus 25-0 (245 runs behind): Katich 15*, Watson 9*

- Day two starts with Stuart Broad bowling 8th over of the innings v Shane Watson: NB, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 (83/84mph), 26-0 after 8 overs.

- James Anderson 9th over v Simon Katich: 0, 1, 4, 1, 0, 2. First boundary of the day by Watson, fourth of the innings. Appeal against Katich for a catch behind, replay shows ball went through unscaved between bat and leg, not worth a review that one. 34-0 after 9 overs.

- Slow but comfortable start for the Aussies... Little encouragement for England so far...

- 37-0 after 10 overs.

- 5th boundary, 42-0 after 11 overs.

- Lbw appeal last ball of the over by a hopefull Broad, clearly comes off the bat though, another one not even worth a review, 42-0 after 12 overs.

- Mix up between the batsmen, Katich would have been way out, Watson sending him back, but Alastair Cook at square? misses the stumps. Will that get England going, finally putting on more pressure? 42-0 after 13 overs.

- Beauty by Broad v Watson, just missing a touch, boundary next ball though... England need to find something... The Aussies still too comfortable... Run rate 3:33 per over, 46-0 after 14 overs; Watson 21, Katich 22, Australia 214 runs behind.

- Single off the last ball makes it 47-0 after 15 overs.- Bouncer by Broad, ball comes off Watson's arm and down his body, he had to make sure that's didn't end up on the stumps, little shiver-shake there. Just a single off the over again, 48-0 after 16 overs.

- First bowling change of the day after a fruitless start for England: Steven Finn on for Anderson in the 10th over of the day (17th over of the innings). 50 comes up for the Aussies, Katich 27 off 49, Watson 21 off 51, partnership of 51 off 100 at 3.06 per over. It looks all too easy for Australia. Beautiful boundary, full stride down the onside by Watson, just underlines and shows the run Australia are on, too comfortable, too good for England's liking. 55-0 after 17 overs.

- Dead ball as Katich turns his head v Broad. Rare maiden over, 55-0 after 18 overs. 30 runs on the day so far, after 11 overs.

- Finn nowhere near the front line when he bowls... 56-0 after 19 overs.

- Anderson on for Broad, switching ends, see if that can get him going and more dangerous to the Aussies... 59-0 after 20 overs. Drinks come on after the first hour of day two, England still looking for a breakthrough from somewhere, Australia looking more than comfortable and solid. Watson 28, Katich 27, Australia 201 runs behind. When will Graeme Swann get the call today then? Just before lunch?

- Finn continues after the drinks, Watson drives a full on shot out for four, nice zap-boundary - if that's a cricket term... 63-0 after 21 overs.

- Anderson quite slow for his average, just around 80mph, his fastest overall so far 86.5mph... Maiden, 63-0 after 22 overs.

- Everyone's wondering why Swann's not on yet... Four through extra cover brings Watson to 36. Bouncer by Finn to end the over, 67-0 after 23 overs.

- Finally lbw by Anderson in his 10th over, given out by the umpire, sent to the third umpire by Australia: in line but, uh, maybe too high. Yep, too high, missing, not out, first Billy? Doctrove's decision to be turned around on his 65th wedding anniversary by the way. Two reviews remaining each, Katich stays in and puts next ball down legside for four. 74-0 after 24 overs.

- Overthrows by Finn... England need a change! 78-0 after 25 overs. 18 over, 53 runs, 0 wickets this session. All going Australia's way.

- Another lbw shout by Anderson, not given this time, England huddle up and decide to review, the analysis shows the ball is too high, misses off. England have wasted one, Watson stays in. Next ball, Anderson finally gets the first brekathrough, Watson caught by Strauss, out for 36 off 76, Australia 78-1, Ponting on. We'll see of England can turn Australia's lunch a little more sower... Slower balls by Anderson v the Aussie skipper, just under 80mph... 78-1 after 26 overs, wicket maiden for Anderson.

- Broad back into attack, replacing Finn. Single brings Ponting on to bat, just for one ball, defends it easy. 79-1 after 27 overs.

- 80-1 after 28 overs, Ponting defends the last ball.

- 81-1 after 29 overs, Ponting defends/leaves the last ball.

- Ponting off the mark with an awkward four through the gap between second slip and gully v Anderson. 88-1 after 30 overs.

- Session so far: 23 overs, 63 runs, 1 wicket, 12.4 over rate, 2.74 run rate. Katich on 44, Ponting on 4, Australia trailing by 172 runs.

- 90-1 after 31 overs.

- Anderson's the last over before lunch, good line v Ponting, well bowled, squaring up and opening up the Aussie skipper, trying to get edge... No one at second slip though... 91-1 after 32 overs.

- Swann on for the last over before lunch... Only had one yesterday to which went for 10 runs, hopefully this one will be a bit better... Singles off the first two deliveries, short balls. Ponting coming out v spin, defending the next two, lbw shout as Ponting defends the next with his far-forward leg, nothing serious, three off the last ball after a fielding error. 96-1 after 33 overs. Katich on 46 from 99, Ponting on 10 from 24. The morning definitely goes to Australia, eventhough Anderson got a breakthrough for England, they looked solid and comfortable, dominating most of the morning and the scoreboard with it. Off for a lunch snooze.


- First over after lunch, Anderson v Ponting, second ball, inside edge down legside caught behind by Prior, clear contact with the ball and out for 10 off 26 balls, no need for a review, the skipper knows, 96-2. Vice-captain Michael Clarke on, three slips and a gully ready for him, survives. Wicket maiden, 96-2 after 34 overs.

- Finn on the other end v Katich, who hits him for four to reach his 25th Test Fifty, 50 off 103. 100-2 after 35 overs.- 100-2 after 36 overs, one lbw shout for Anderson, but it clearly came off the bat.

- Terrific effort by Finn c & b Katich's outside edge, out for 50 off 106 balls, Australia 100-3. Hussey on, edges first delivery behind, drops just short of Swann at second slip, nervous times for Australia. Suddenly the ball is flashing England's way, good pace, 87mph, bounces, worrying the Aussies. 101-3 after 36 overs. After a quiet morning, the game has finally kicked off after lunch and England are finally challenging the home side, wonderful over by Finn, the ball nipping around.

- 101-3 after 37 & 38 overs.- Shout for a catch behind off Finn, not given, sent to be reviewed, Strauss was sure there was an inside edge, however, no hot spot, no sound, decision stands, England have used up their reviews, Clarke off the mark the next ball. 102-3 after 39 overs, Anderson and Finn take England on top and in control. What a difference an afternoon makes... Well, it's 3.10am on my clock...

- Much more movement on the seem for Anderson and England, Clarke still feeling it out... Maiden, 102-3 after 40 overs. Clarke and Hussey on 1 each.- RE: England's second review that wasn't given: Snicko actually shows Clarke's bat did make contact with the ball, but the decision has been made... Luck or just postponed doom?

- 106-3 after 41 overs. 8 overs, 10 runs, 2 wickets so far this session. Australia 154 runs behind.- Broad on for Anderson in 42nd over, aggressive running, four off the fourth ball, 110-3 after 42 overs.

- Hussey's starting to enjoy it, boundary after boundary, especially v Swann, 27 from 37 balls.- 140-4 Clarke caught behind by Prior off Finn, top edge, walks off, 9 off 59 balls.

- 143-5 genuine outside edge caught by Collingwood, North gone for 1 off 8, Swann a much happier man now.

- 168-5 at tea, Hussey with some beautiful play and plenty of runs and boundaries, looks like he may be the one to save Australia from falling and failing similar to England after the visitors thought they were taking over control and the game.

- 22nd Test Fifty for Hussey and he continues in confident, solid fashion with some fine shots, Haddin tries to join into with boundaries 53 off 103 balls partnership and they bring up the 200 for Australia. Some cracking shots and boundary after boundary and good running between the two. Steadying the ship for Australia.

- 220-5, new ball available, the umpires are checking the lights and conditions, flood lights are on, umpires call it a day, the crowd doesn't like that at all.- Rain ends the day then any way, Australia 220-5, trailing by 40, Hussey on 81 and in ominous form. Last session definitely goes to him and Australia for evening the ship again.

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