Eng extend lead to 346 on Day 2

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Published: Monday, December 27, 2010, 13:18 [IST]
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Eng extend lead to 346 on Day 2

With a lead of 206 already under their belt, England resumed batting confidently after lunch with Jonathan Trott on 65, and Matt Prior on 12, going full steam ahead. Aussie pacers Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson were bowling in tandem, but neither was able to unsettle the batsmen. Then was Ryan Harris rejoined the attack, he was straight away smashed for two fours off the bat of Trott, who climbed to 85 with those hits.

Trott and Prior kept taking singles and doubles, though boundaries were hard to come by for a while. England crossed 350 in 114th over and shortly afterward, Trott smashed Harris for two more fours in an over to bring up a century. It had been a patient innings coming off 213 balls and studded with 7 fours. In the 128th over, Trott brought up England's 400 with an authoritative cover-drive four off Siddle.

The batsman started to hit boundaries more freely in an apparent bid to up the scoring rate towards the end of play. Trott and Prior each helped themselves to a four of the leg-spinner Steven Smith in the 128th over, and the batsmen subjected Johnson to the same treatment in the next over. England ended the day on a dominating 444/5 in 136 overs with Trott not out on 141 and Prior, batting on 75. England's lead going into Day 3 is a mammoth 346.

With England resuming their first inning at 157/0 with a lead of 59 on the morning of Day 2, the side was bound to looking at launching a huge total. But in just the fourth over of the day, Peter Siddle got the opening breakthrough for Australia when he had Alistair Cook caught by Shane Watson at second slip for 82. Captain Andrew Struss also departed soon after when Siddle got him caught by Michael Hussey at backward point. The hosts probably thought at that point that a collapse was on the cards.

But Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen weathered the storm well. Pietersen hammered Siddle for two back-to-back boundaries in the 60th over as England climbed to 188/2. By the 66th over, the batting pair had taken their side past 200 and were looking deadly dangerous. Aussie captain Ricky Ponting, desperate for another breakthrough, brought on the leg-spinner Steven Smith. But straight Pietersen attacked him, smacking him for two fours in the 72nd over. England went into lunch with the score at a healthy 226/2 in 76 overs.

Pietersen and Trott were in a destructive mood immediately after the break, slamming Shane Watson's quickies for a boundary each. Trott struck Harris for another four in the 82nd over to bring up England's 250. But 12 runs later and four overs later, Siddle struck by trapping Pietersen in front for 51. England were still on top at 262/3.

Then Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell barely opened their accounts before a resurgent Mitchell Johnson accounted for both their wickets, pegging the visitors back to 286/5 in 96 overs. While the wickets were tumbling, Trott kept up his end admirably well and struck a few more fours before England went into tea at 304/5 in 101 overs.


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