Mitchell Johnson puts Australia in driver’s seat on Day 2
Australia ended day 2 safely on 65 for no loss in their second innings after England’s abject capitulation in the first Ashes test in Brisbane on Friday.
The hosts have in bank a very comfortable 224-run lead, and are well on their way to a victory, unless the Brisbane weather interrupts.
Much beleaguered Mitchell Johnson led the way for the hosts with 4/61 after Australia were bowled out for 295 in the first hour of the day.
The rejuvenate left-arm pacer got plenty of bounce out of flat Brisbane track and in tandem with fellow paceman Ryan Harris (3-28) as well as spinner Nathan Lyon (2-17) pushed England on brink of defeat.
Stuart Broad, who finished with figures of 6/81 with the ball, counter attacked with a spirited 32. The other notable contribution in England’s paltry total of 136 was Michael Carberry who top scored with 40. It marked a remarkable turnaround for Aussies as England had earlier skittled Australia’s top order to take charge on day one.
Despite the loss of captain Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott before lunch, England looked comfortable making steady progress towards a reasonable score at 82-2 midway through the second session.
Then all of a sudden departure of Kevin Pietersen on 18, when his on drive landed in the hands of George Bailey at midwicket, started the carnage where at one point in time England lost six wickets for nine runs in 9 overs.
Spurred on by the dismissal of one of England’s key batsmen Pietersen, Johnson and his fellow bowlers ran carnage to leave the visitors facing an uphill task draw the test match let alone winning it.
After Pietersen it was opener Michael Carberry’s turn to head back to the pavilion when Johnson had him caught by Shane Watson at second slip.
Ian Bell, who scored three centuries in England’s 3-0 triumph on home soil earlier this year, hardly made any contribution when Steve Smith snatched the ball at short leg of Lyon’s bowling when Bell was on five.
Matt Prior was dismissed in similar fashion to Bell as Australia successfully reviewed the on field decision and sent the wicketkeeper back to the dressing room with a golden duck.
That put Lyon on a hat-trick and, although Broad safely negotiated the delivery, Joe Root (2) and Graeme Swann (0) soon became Johnson’s third and fourth victims as England were reeling on 96/8.
The Gabba was in dreamland, England’s Barmy Army silent and it seemed whole of Australia has woken up, as Johnson, the object of so much ridicule from English fans for last couple of Ashes, celebrated what was a match-changing and perhaps match winning spell.
After tea, Broad and Tremlett took England past the follow-on but the latter was well caught by Lyon after another successful short ball from Harris and Staurt Broad holed out at deep mid-wicket to give Siddle his first wicker.
Earlier Brad Haddin had been run out for 94 to end Australia’s innings but his catches which accounted for Cook and Trott took him past 200 career dismissals.
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