On a dramatic second day of the fifth and final Ashes Test, at Sydney, England emerged on top of the Australians. The tourists bowled out the hosts for 280 with James Anderson picking up four wickets and Tim Bresnan, three before the English top-order dominated in their innings to reach 167/3 at stumps. The visitors now trail Australia by just 113. Alistair Cook was not out on 61 and nightwatchman James Anderson was keeping him company with 1.
In fact, it was Anderson who began proceedings on Day 2 of the fifth and final Ashes Test, almost immediately getting the new batsman Brad Haddin caught behind for 6. Resuming on an overnight score of 134/4, Australia were already 143/5 in 62.4 overs.
A few quiet overs followed during which Michael Hussey and next batsman Steven Smith sneaked their side past 150 in the 67th over. Then Hussey shed some of the pressure when he smacked Tim Bresnan for a straight-driven boundary.
In the ensuing 11 overs, the batsman pl[ayed very cautiously and a tad tentatively, not going for any forceful shots. As a result, the English bowlers got on top of them. In the 80th over, Paul Collingwood who was brought on to bowl his medium pacers, bowled Hussey for 33. The hosts were in dire straights at 171/6.
The tail had been opened up. But Smith and the new man at the crease Mitcehll Johnson wouldn't surrender meekly. They each took a four off Chris Tremlett in the 84th over. But in the very next over, Smith's resistance was shattered when he edged Anderson straight into the palms of Collingwood at third slip. Australia were looking at the bottom of the barrel at 187/7 in 84.2 overs... and their woes were only compounded when four balls later, new batsman Peter Siddle edged Anderson to English captain Andrew Strauss at first slip.
The scoreboard at that point read a miserable 189/9 in 85 overs. But Mitchell Johnson's replied to the serious adversity with valiance. Together with 9th batsman Ben Hilfenhaus, he began to erect a steady partnership. After Johnson brought up Australia's 200 with a double off Tremlett in the 88th over, he and Hilfenhaus, took their side into lunch with the score at 224/8.
After the break, the batting duo continued to fight the good fight with their defiance surging in the the 98th over, when they took 11 runs off Bresnan, including a six from Hilfenhaus. With that shot, Australia had moved to 250. In the following over, Johnson got into the act, smashing the off-spinner Graweme Swann for a four, followed by a six to bring up his 50.
But Bresnan had the answer to Johnson's belligerence when he bowled him for 53 in the 100th over. Australia had reached 265/9. Hilfenhaus tried to keep the momentum going with last batsman Michael Beer, but ran out of steam in the 107th over when Anderson had him caught behind for a fighting 34. Australia were thus all out for 280 in 106.1 overs.
England's innings began on a positive note. The tourists' opener Alistair Cook struck Johnson for a boundary in just the second over, while in the next, his partner Andrew Strauss, hammered Hilfenhaus for two consecutive fours - one to fine leg, and the other, to square leg.
Strauss once again got stuck into Hilfenhaus in the 9th over when he pulled him over square leg for a six and then edged him past gully for a boundary. Then Cook joined the party in the next over, swatting Peter Siddle for a four to bring up England's 50.
The visitors maintained a brisk run-rate as the fours came frequently. But against the run of play, in the 22nd over, Hilfenhaus bowled Strauss for 60. The innings had come off just 58 balls, and was studded with 8 fours and a six. In just the next over, Mitchell Johnson clean-up one-down batsman Jonathan Trott for a duck, courtesy a fatal inside edge. Then, the steady hands of new batsman Kevin Pietersen and surviving opener Cook guided
England out of that flutter. In the 38th over, the two took England past 150. But five overs later, Johnson succeeded in pegging back the visitors when Johnson had Pietersen caught by Michael Beer at deep backward square leg. James Anderson was sent out as the nightwatchman and together with Cook, took England to stumps at 167/3 in 48 overs.