On the second day of the second Ashes Test at Adelaide, Australia got off to just the kind of start they would have been hoping for. Seamer Doug Bollinger bowled England captain Andrew Strauss for just 1 with a ripper.
England were in some trouble at 3/1. But then the other opener Alistair Cook, who is coming off from a record 235 at the Gabba, and Jonathan Trott who also scored a century in that match, steadied the innings. However, their rise was not without a let-off. In the 8th over, Trott on 12, was put down by Michael Hussey at gully off Bollinger. That would prove to be an expensive error for Australia, as Trott then settled in nicely.
In the 14th over, Trott went after Siddle, getting him away for two consecutive boundaries, one a lucky edge that flew between slip and gully and the other, an on-side drive. With those shots, England moved past the 50-run mark.
Cook appeared to be in blistering form for in the 28th over, he took Bollinger for three back-to-back boundaries, one past gully, one to square leg, and the third, backward of point. England had crossed a 100 runs and were making the Aussies sweat. Then in the 31st over, both Cook and Trott brought up their fifties, the latter reaching his via a four to midwicket off Bollinger.
In the 43rd over, the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) came to Cook's rescue when he was given caught behind from an attempted hook shot. He asked for the review with replays showing that he hadn't touched the ball and so he survived on 64.
Another flurry of three fours came in the 46th over which slow left arm Xavier Doherty had the misfortune of bowling. Cook smacked him past point, then behind point and then, to the same region again. Doherty was under immense pressure.
Nothing was going Australia's way for in the evry next over, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin dropped Trott for 76, conceding two more runs in the process. But luckily, Harris pulled one back a couple of overs later when he had Harris caught by Clarke at short midwicket for 78. England were 176/2, after a second wicket stand of 173.
Kevin Pietersen was the next English batsman to take guard and didn't need much time to settle in. In the 49th over, he hit Doherty for a four and ran two doubles. the batting pair took England into tea at a strong 198/2. After the break, Cook ran a couple of singles to bring up England's 200 and thereafter the fours came fairly frequently, one almost every over till the 61st when Pietersen and Cook each scored a boundary off a struggling Doherty. The latter shot took Cook to another century, his second on the trot and England were looking good at 229/2.
Pietersen and Cook then took England past Australia's first innings total of 245 in the 68th over with the former smashing Siddle for a boundary past mid on. That shot had also taken England to 250. With those landmarks out of the way, Pietersen slid into another level of comfort, hitting Watson for two more fours in the next over.
As they built on England's first innings lead, the batsman became a little more circumspect. But the boundaries returned towards the close of play for the day. It was a four from Pietersen's willow that took England past 300 runs. Cook and Pietersen ended the day with the scoreboard showing a threatening 317/2 in 89 overs with an ominous lead of 72.
Going into the third day in this Test, Australia will have to rethink their strategy. Perhaps slow left arm Xavier Doherty will be given a bigger role with the ball early on, since the pitch has come in for some wear and tear. The pace bowlers will also hope that they have a more successful time of it with a little uneven bounce coming their way. Cook and Pietersen for their part will continue to make hay while the sun shines and will be looking to extend England's lead a long way on Day 3.