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The Ashes 2013: England on top after Swann's five wicket haul

England v Australia: 2nd Investec Ashes Test - Day Two

Peter Siddle’s impressive bowling performance helped Australia to restrict England to 31/3 at stumps on Day 2. The Aussie pacer removed Cook, Trott and Pietersen in quick succession and gave Australia a sense of hope in the second Test.

Ryan Harris’ five-wicket haul, earlier, bundled out England for 361 runs in the first innings. However, once again the top order batsmen failed for Australia as they didn’t fancy the pace and bounce of the wicket. Swann exploited the conditions and claimed a five-wicket haul to end the Australian innings for 128 runs.

England resumed the day at 289/7. Ryan Harris twin strike in the morning had England on the backfoot. He first removed Bresnan who was deceived by the movement off the pitch and was eventually caught behind for 7. He soon grabbed the wicket of James Anderson (12) as the latter edged a length ball to Haddin.

After the wicket of Anderson, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad shared a salvaging partnership of 48 runs for the tenth wicket. The duo batted sensibly and did not do more than what was required at that stage. They kept the scoreboard ticking and punished the loose deliveries.

Clarke then brought Pattinson into the attack and the first ball of his over produced the wicket of Stuart Broad,  caught behind for a well-made 33.England were finally bowled out for 361 runs. Swann and Broad showed that the conditions were still good for batting, but Australia’s unreliable top order needed to get the runs to gain a first innings lead. However, that did not happen as the top order once again collapsed in a heap.

Shane Watson and Chris Rogers were watchful against Anderson and Broad as they were swinging the ball both ways. Watson brought up the first boundary off the Australian innings in the third over when he cut a shorter one off Anderson through the point region. Shane Watson subsequently started attacking the England fast bowlers as he scored another boundary off Anderson in the fifth over but Chris Rogers was watchful and did not attempt to play big shots as Watson looked in ominous form.

However, Watson was dismissed in the 13th over by Bresnan for 30. It was a great delivery from Tim Bresnan as it angled in, and was trapped right in front after he moved across the delivery. Australia ended the first session at 42/1.

The wicket of Watson was a big bonus for England before lunch as he looked in great rhythm. Usman Khawaja was the new man to the crease and he would have hoped for a better performance with the bat. He didn’t look comfortable at the crease as the pitch was offering some assistance for the spinners. Graeme Swann came into bowl in the 13th over and he straightaway was getting some turn off the surface.

Chris Rogers, who has a fabulous record at Lord’s failed to make a substantial contribution as he was dismissed by Swann for 15. Hughes, who played a magnificent innings of 81 in the first Test, did not make any impact either as he was dismissed by Bresnan for 1. It was a loose shot from him as he chased a wide delivery off Bresnan.

Philip Hughes reviewed that decision as he was pretty confident that he didn’t knick it. Hot Spot was uncertain, but there was some sound when the ball passed the bat. So, Tony Hill decided to stay with on-field decision and Australia lost all the reviews.

Michael Clarke walked in and started his innings confidently as he struck a glorious four off Bresnan in the 21st over. However, Australia lost the wicket off Khawaja as the latter was caught by Pietersen for 15. It was a great delivery from Swann, as he pitched it full and forced the batsmen to make a mistake.

Steven Smith also failed to score the runs as he was dismissed by Swann for only two. Stuart Broad then got rid of Michael Clarke for 28, to leave Australia on the brink at 91/5. After the wicket of Clarke, Australia’s low order batsmen collapsed and eventually ended the second session at 96/7.

After the tea session, Australia kept losing the wickets regularly and none of the batsmen bothered to stay at the crease and bat sensibly. Eventually, they were bowled out for 128, still trailing England by 233 runs.

Graeme Swann exploited the wicket to perfection and claimed five wickets for England, while Bresnan scalped two wickets. Anderson and Broad settled for one apiece.

It was a poor batting display from Australia on a flat pitch. However, the wicket was offering some assistance for spinners as Swann was getting purchase from the wicket. So, it won’t be easy for batting from Day 3 as the wicket is expected to turn.

England openers Cook and Root started the second innings confidently as they rose to 20/0 in five overs. The duo was watchful in the first couple overs as Harris and Pattinson were swinging the ball both ways.

However, Peter Siddle struck to remove Alastair Cook for 8 in the 11th over. It was a length ball from Peter Siddle, Cook tried to force it off the backfoot, but only managed to inside edge onto his stumps.

Jonathan Trott, who made 58 in the first innings, was dismissed for a duck. Yet again, it was a length ball, Trott was in two minds, and the ball deflected off the bat onto his stumps.

Kevin Pietersen was also dismissed cheaply by Siddle as he was caught by Rogers for 5. However, Joe Root and night watch man Bresnan survived the last few overs to end the day at 31/3.

England are still in a commanding position with a lead of 264 runs. The wicket is expected to aid spinners from Day 3 and therefore Australia will find it difficult to chase anything in excess of 300 runs.

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