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England in control on Day 1

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Published: Thursday, December 16, 2010, 15:37 [IST]
 
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England in control on Day 1

Resuming on 179/6 after tea, Australian batsmen Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson may have been hoping to stage a revival, but England had other plans. Fast bowler James Anderson returned in robust way, having Haddin caught by Swann at second slip for 53 in the 58th over. Then in his next over, the same bowler clean bowled Ryan Harris for 3. Australia were tottering at 201/7. Johnson and new batsman Peter Siddle, bode their time, just taking ones and twos.

But in the 71st over, speedster Steven Finn added to Australia's ruin by getting Johnson caught by Anderson for 62. The hosts were faced with a quick end to their innings at 229/9. But Ben Hilfenhaus and Siddle held out to take their side past 250 with three fours coming off Siddle's bat in one Chris Tremlett over. Siddle then went after Steven Finn, striking him for two boundaries in the 75th over. But Hilfenhaus couldn't keep up his end and perished to off-spinner Graeme Swann for 13 with the hosts bowled out for a meagre 268 in 76 overs.

Unlike their opponents, England's opening batsmen Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook began their side's innings confidently. In the 4th over, Cook threw the kitchen sink at a fast Ryan Harris delivery to send it for six over backward point. A few more fours came from either bat before England reached 29/0 at stumps.

The day began on a bright note for England with the rookie fast bowler Tremlett, clean-bowling new-comer batsmen Philip Hughes for just 2. Australia were 2/1 in 2 overs. One-down batsman Ricky Ponting counter-attacked by smacking Tremlett for two fours in the fourth over, but Anderson ended Ponting belligerence in the next over, getting the Aussie captain caught superbly by Paul Collingwood at third slip. Ponting was on his way for 12 and Australia were in a spot of bother at 17/2.

Tremlett picked up his second wicket just a couple of overs later when he had Michael Clarke caught behind for 4. Clarke had to walk back to the shed for 4 and Australia were in deeper trouble at 28/3. The new batsman Michael Hussey and surviving opener Shane Watson, tried to steady the innings, but the England pacers were on a roll. In the 17th over, Steven Finn trapped Watson plumb in front for 13 and Australia had slumped to 36/4.

Michael Hussey tried to deal with the situation as aggressively as possible, attacking mainly Finn. He sent the fast bowler for two fours in one over and then for a four and a six in a subsequent over. Australia moved past 50 in the process and to the score of 65/4 at lunch.

After lunch, Tremlett struck again almost immediately when he had Steven Smith caught by captain Andrew Strauss at first slip. Australia was continuing its slide at 69/5.

Aussie wicketkeeper Brad Haddin took on the crises wholeheartedly with Hussey and together they staged a fight back. From the 35th to the 39th over, the duo struck a four in each over before Haddin came down heavily on Graeme Swann by lofting him for a six over long-on. With this flurry of boundaries, Australia had moved well past the 100-run mark. In the next over, Hussey got into the act and started attacking Steven Finn, sending the young fast bowler for three boundaries - two through backward of square and one through midwicket.

But Hussey's fun came to an end when Swann had his caught behind while fending to a ball outside off. Hussey's valiant fight back has come to an end and Australia were again in some distress at 137/6.

But Haddin wouldn't back down. He counterattacked from the other end, smashing Finn for two fours, both guided over the slips. Australia were witnessing another revival of sorts, with the score sliding past 150. Then the new batsmen Mitchell Johnson came to the party, hitting a hapless Finn for two more fours in the 44th over.

Haddin brought up a well-earned fifty in the 51st over when he took a single off Swann. Strauss introduced Paul Collingwood into the attack soon after to see if his medium pacers could help peg back the Australians further. But Johnson and Haddin stood their ground stubbornly, taking Australia to 179/6 at tea.

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