Friday, December 3, 2010

England pick up where they left off

I’m sure most of you at some point have wished you could rewind time and start a disastrous day all over again with a clean slate.

And if I was Ricky Ponting that is exactly how I would feel right now.

England, after dominating with the bat in the first test at Brisbane, did exactly the same with the ball as they took complete control of the second test in Adelaide.

Under bright blue skies on what promised to be a blisteringly hot day in South Australia Ricky Ponting won the toss and duly elected to bat on what looked like another flat Adelaide surface. Strike one to Australia. Those ready to follow the Livescores were expecting a long day in the field for England.

The first test at the Gabba famously began with Strauss’ dramatic third-ball-of-day dismissal. But the increasing trend of this series is ‘whatever Australia can do England can do better,’ and so it followed here.

First, some hesitant running between the wickets and a direct hit from Jonathan Trott accounted for Simon Katich before he had even faced a ball. Ricky Ponting followed straight after, edging a fullish James Anderson delivery to a grateful Graeme Swann at first slip for a golden duck. Things got even better in Anderson’s next over when Michael Clarke edged straight to Swann again and left the hosts reeling at 2-3.

Michael Hussey again proved a thorn in England’s side and a decent recovery job from him and Shane Watson appeared to give Australia at modicum of control at lunch.

But Watson’s frustrating habit of making starts but failing to push on struck again right after lunch to leave England within touching distance of Australia’s flimsy tail. North hung around but barely troubled the scorers. Brad Haddin and Hussey did hit back and thoughts began to creep back to their defiant 307 run stand in Brisbane last week.

But Graeme Swann, under a bit of pressure from those following the latest cricket scores after under performing in Brisbane, wrenched the game firmly into England’s hands with a quick fire double dismissal of Hussey and then Ryan Harris.

That left Australia on 207-7 and the tail would make just 37 runs between them before Anderson wrapped up the innings with the day during to a close.

England survived one brisk over by Ryan Harris to end the day 1-0 but the sight of Ponting berating Strauss as they left the field shows the pressure he is under after another crushing day for his side.

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