England have won the second Ashes 2010/2011 test match on their tour of Australia by completing an emphatic victory in Adelaide on the fifth day.
England won the match by an innings and 71 runs after removing the remaining six Australian wickets for just 66 runs, with Graeme Swann the pick of their bowlers, recording second innings figures of 5-91.
Swann was ably assisted once more by pace man James Anderson, who added to his four wicket haul in the first innings with another important brace – coming one after the other – as he removed Haddin (12) caught Matt Prior, with a ball that nipped away, before collecting Ryan Harris (0) LBW, first ball, on referral with a ball that cut back in. Harris became only the second ever Australian to record a Golden Duck in both innings of a test match.
Australia had come in on 238-4 needing to bat through the day to save this match.
Forecast rain did not materialise, though Mike Hussey (52), off the back of three solid innings, looked keen to stay at the crease as long as possible. England looked to have scuppered their chance somewhat when, with Hussey, having just recorded his third half century in succession, was dropped by wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
It was not to be a rued moment, however, as just a couple of overs later, Hussey was back in the pavillion, having mistimed a hook shot from the bowling of the impressive new English paceman, Finn. Anderson took the catch at mid-on following a thickish top edge.
Finn’s contribution to the second innings was the important wickets of dangermen Hussey and Watson, who were his two wickets for 60 runs, from 18 overs, showing he is beginning to add a little more economy to his craft.
But the bulk of the overs, and the wickets, were claimed by spinner, Swann – as one might expect on the fifth day of a test – who picked up 5 for 91 from 41.1 overs, showing excellent tight bowling, and producing vital wickets at the vital times.
Swann claimed North (22) LBW and grabbed the final wickets of the day by clean bowling both Doherty (5) and Siddle (6) wrapping up a demoralising defeat for the Australians on home soil.
But it was the contribution of Kevin Pietersen – who struck 227 of England’s 620 runs as well as claiming the vital wicket of Michael Clarke (80), who had got himself well and truly in on Day Four – that really set the sides apart. This much improved form, including an innings full of confidence and poise, must be a worry for the hosts. On his day, Pietersen is one of the most gifted batsmen ever to have strapped on the pads, and, in a side full of confidence, it looks like the KP of old is back.
England are very much in the ascendency now, having hit 600+ and removed what is looking increasingly like a creaking home batting lineup. But for the form of Hussey and Haddin and, to a lesser extent, Shane Watson, with willow in hand, Australia would probably already be out of this series.
It is advantage England and, unless Australia show significant improvements with both ball and bat in Perth (16th-20th December 2010), Ashes 2010/2011 could be beyond their grasp by New Year.
If they are to get back on terms with England, Australia need their batsmen to get a score, and build a platform for their demoralised bowling attack. Those bowlers also need a special, confidence boosting spell.
Cricket is all about momentum and, for the time being, that is all England. They lead The Ashes 2010/2011 1-0.
The Ashes 2010/2011 – Adelaide Test Match in Brief
- Australia won the toss and elected to bat
- 1st Innings – Australia 245 All Out (85.5 Overs) – Hussey 93, Haddin 56 – Anderson 4 for 51
- 1st Innings – England 620 for 5 Declared (152 Overs) – Pietersen 227, Cook 148 – Harris 2 for 84
- 2nd Innings – Australia 304 All Out (99.1 Overs) – Clarke 80, Hussey 52 – Swann 5 for 91
- England win by an innings and 71 runs