Eng have Aus against the ropes on Day 4

Posted by:
Published: Monday, December 6, 2010, 13:58 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Eng have Aus against the ropes on Day 4

England are running home with the second Ashes Test at Adelaide with a successful Day 4 wherein the visitors declared on 620/5 with a huge lead of 375 runs, before pegging Australia back to 238/4 at stumps.

Resuming on an overnight score of 351, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell continued their prosperous 5th wicket partnership. Pietersen dispatched seamer Doug Bollinger through the covers for a four in just the second ball of the day. But off-spinner Doherty who had come in for a pasting from Pietersen on the previous day, finally had something to smile about when he had the batsman caught by Simon Katich at slip.

Pietersen had already done enough damage, scoring a gigantic 227 in an innings studded with 33 fours and 1 six. But Bell wiped the smile of Doherty's face when in the same over, he carted the bowler for a six over mid-on.

With English wicketkeeper Matt Prior at the other end, Bell continued to push the scoring rate, hitting a four each in 148th, 149th, 150th and 151st overs to take England to the command total off 620. It was the score at which captain Andrew Strauss waved his hands and declared.

Trailing by a massive 375 runs, Australia needed a positive start to their second innings. And they were accorded just that by Shane Watson. The batsman went after pace bowler James Anderson straight away, striking him for two fours in the first over. Then followed up those hits with a crashing four off Stuart Broad in the next over.

Simon Katich, then got into the act, smacking Anderson for three boundaries in the 5th over. Australia had raced to 29/0. The runs continued to come at a fairly frequent rate till the 30th over, when off-break Graeme Swann got the opening breakthrough. He had Katich caught behind for 43.

A few overs later, Swann struck again to remove one-down batsman and Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting for a meagre 9. Now England were fancying their chances of effecting a collapse. But Michael Clarke and Watson stood firm and even played some attacking strokes to shed some pressure. The duo took Australia to over 100 and almost immediately drama ensued.

Broad would have been kicking himself for not being able to hold onto a return catch from Watson in the 37th over. To add to his woes, the surviving batsman and Clarke each took a four off his bowling in the 41st over. But Finn ended Watson's reign at the crease in the 47th over when he had the batsman caught by Strauss at slip for 57.

Clarke and new batsman Micahel Hussey did a creditable job of reviving the innings. They took Australia into tea with the score at a healthier 160/3 in 56 overs. Just prior to the break, Stuart Broad had to withdraw from the field with a suspected stomach strain. But though he was back with the other players after tea, it had started raining and the covers came on as the players trooped off.

With the rain subsiding, Clarke and Hussey resumed their stand. Clarke was obviously riding on a positive vibe. He had finally struck form, reaching his 50 with two power-drives for four off Anderson in the 65th over. A couple of overs later, the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) came to Clarke's rescue after the umpire mistakenly gave him out caught at slip off Swann's bowling. Clarke survived on 67. He was in for more luck a couple of overs later when Alistair Cook dropped him off Swann at short-leg.

Hussey and Clark were all set to play out the day, when the latter came in for a shock. He was foxed by new bowler Kevin Pietersen's brand of off-spin when he gave a simple catch to Cook at short leg. England had furthered their chances of winning the Test with Australia at a precarious 238/4 at stumps and still left with a mountain to climb in order to save this match.


Write Comments