Saturday, 4 December 2010

Cook century puts England in command

Sports - Cricket - Ashes - 2nd Test - Adelaide Oval - Day 2

My picks of the second day:

Alastair Cook put England on top on the second day at the Adelaide Oval, hitting in 138* of the 317 runs and giving the guests a 72-run lead. Jonathan Trott (78) and Kevin Pietersen (85*) enjoyed their fair share of runs in partnership with the centurion and will be looking to continue the run - to Australia's despair, who thought they got their breakthrough(s) but were left on the back foot and blank-faced to their misfortunes.

Run of Play: Advantage to...

1st session, England 90-1, 155 behind, at lunch: After losing the early wicket and a couple of lucky escapes, England will be the happier side for now. Australia mourn the missed chance, fortune still avoiding them.

2nd session, England 198-2, 47 behind, at tea: Another wicket down, but England are still in command, leaving the Aussie bowlers clueless and a bit gobsmacked that still nothing is going their way.

3rd session, England 317-2, 72 ahead, at the end of day two: England on top with centurion Cook and his partner KP on his way to his own century scoring freely and not feeling much pressure from Bollinger and Harris.

Partnerships: Andrew Strauss will have cursed himself for leaving the ball which went on and took the bails off the stumps and sent him back into the pavilion with only one run. The start of the day for England looked very similar to Australia's morning, with confusion and errors that could have proved costly for the guests. But fortune was definitely more with them, Trott being dropped twice before he eventually fell for 78 (144), adding 173 runs to the board together with Cook. Much criticised Pietersen ended the day still on the crease together with Cook, adding 85 (141) to the 141 partnership so far and looking too comfortable for the host's liking. It was all about partnering with starman Cook today, who stands unbeaten on 136 (246), taking his series total so far to 438 after his unbeaten double-century at Brisbane.

Bowling: Once Australia were spoilt for choice in wicket takers, match winners and control takers with the likes of
Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Brett Lee or Stuart Clark on the list. Nowadays they are left clueless and wondering what it takes, what they need to change their fortune and take over or just something out of the match. Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris came in for Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus but haven't shown much to explain or justify their selection. They did get a wicket each, the prior lucky to see Strauss give his stumps away, the latter seeing Trott out with Michael Clarke taking a very good catch at midwicket after he was dropped twice before. Neither was much of a breakthrough though as partnerships of 173 and 141* following and still going on respectively.

Ups: England are having a field day and match so far. Especially good for Cook as there were many doubters whether he was worth keeping the opening spot. England will hope the trend and luck will continue...

Downs & Hero to zero: Australia are a shadow of the side they used to be, which is a shame for the game. Obviously England fans won't be moaning about it, but, if we want a juicy competition, the Aussies will have to pick themselves up somehow and right now I cannot see from where or with whom they will do that...

Australia v England second Test day two as it happened:

As I didn't get to catch the action live, I have to leave you with a BBC Link.

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