Eng in distress at lunch on Day 2

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Published: Friday, December 17, 2010, 10:39 [IST]
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Eng in distress at lunch on Day 2

Day 2 of the third Ashes Test at Perth, began with England batsmen Andrew Strauss, not out on 12 and Alistair Cook, unbeaten on 17, resuming from their side's overnight score of 29/0 in 12 overs.

Straight off the bat, there was drama when in the second over of the day Strauss edged Harris for a boundary between the wicketkeeper and slip with neither fielder attempting what should have been a straightforward catch. Strauss continued to dominate Harris when in the 16th over, he smacked the fast bowler for three fours, one to deep square and two through midwicket. Those shots brought up England's fifty.

In the 24th over, Mitchell Johnson, who has had much success at the WACA, got the breakthrough. The speedster had Cook caught by Michael Hussey at gully and England were 78/1 in 24.1 overs. Just two overs later, Johnson effected a double strike, getting Jonathan Trott trapped in front for 4, and then doing the same to the new man at the crease Kevin Pietersen, for a duck. England were wobbling at 82/3 in 23 overs.

The top-order collapse continued when in the 32nd over, Harris had Strauss caught behind for 52 and England were in distress at 94/4. The visitors woes were compounded when in the very next over, Johnson picked up his fourth wicket to trap Paul Collingwood lbw and England had stumbled to 98/5 in 32.3 overs.

A good hand from the middle-order was required at this critical juncture and Ian Bell and Matt Prior played out a few quiet overs to take England to 119/5 in 38 overs, at lunch. Would England be able to wrest back control of the match after the break or would the Aussie bowlers resume their domination?


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