Mitchell Johnson lead a remarkable Australian fightback on the second day of the third Ashes 2010/2011 test match at the Waca, in Perth, Western Australia.
The left-armed paceman produced a stunning spell en route to collecting six wickets for just 38 runs, which meant that Australia dismissed England for just 187, before putting on 119-3 in their second innings.
As a result, at the end of day two, Australia lead by exactly 200 runs.
But it could have been a very different story after an hour or so played. England, through openers, Strauss (52) and Cook (32) continued their recent good batting form and carried the tourists’ first innings total to an ominous 78-0, before Johnson ripped through the top order with a devastating spell of swing bowling at his brilliant best.
Johnson collected four wickets for just seven runs – taking out first Cook (32, caught Hussey), then catching Trott (4), Pietersen (0) and Collingwood (5) LBW in quick succession with balls that swung late viciously off a good length.
Given the form of those four men, Johnson’s effort was no mean feat, and he was ably backed by the other quick, Harris, who had captain Strauss (52) walking in the same enthralling spell. Strauss was caught by Haddin after nicking a good delivery from Harris to the wicketkeeper.
England, from their early dominence, were 98 for 5 wickets, and reeling.
Up stepped Ian Bell (53) and Matt Prior (12) to settle things down, however, as the pair put on a much needed 47 run partnership before Prior was clean bowled by Siddle.
Graeme Swann (11) got a start, but was soon walking after he edged another good Harris delivery to Haddin, with the score on 181 for 7.
Moments later it was all over as Harris collected the important wicket of Bell (53) caught by Ricky Ponting, before Mitchell Johnson grabbed his fifth and sixth wickets of this important day by sweeping the tailenders Tremlett (2), bowled, and Anderson (0), caught Watson.
Australia had removed England and claimed an 81 run lead despite not batting particularly well through the team and having shown only a couple of brief moments of all-round dominance in the field. The difference in this test match at the end of the first innings was quite simple: Mitchell Johnson, who top scored with the bat and, when the chips were down, skittled England’s top order batsmen like they were schoolboys in the nets.
Perhaps dropping Johnson in Brisbane had been the catalyst he needed?
Whatever the case may be, England must have been hoping that James Anderson could find the swing with the new ball that had proved so devastating for Johnson. However, their pace bowler seemed a little short of speed, when called upon, and it was to be Finn and Tremlett who made the breakthroughs when they came.
Australian openers, Watson (61 n.o.) and Hughes (12) have shown themselves to be in different form of late. Watson is dangerous, if he gets in, and so it would prove today, as he quickly set about passing the half-century mark, and finished the day unbeaten on 61.
Hughes, however, never looked in, and was caught by Paul Collingwood off the bowling of Finn for just 12. Ricky Ponting’s (1) miserable luck continued, as a reviewed “not out” decision saw him walking for a thin edge to Matt Prior, also off Finn.
Michael Clarke (20), also enduring sticky form of late, was bowled by Tremlett with the score on 64 for three wickets, and the match finely poised, but Mike Hussey, who is only adding to his reputation this series, came in and kept Australia intact until stumps, with an unbeaten 24.
The day closed with Hussey and Watson well and truly “in” and the Australian score on 119 for 3 wickets, and leading by 200 runs.
This match, with three days remaining, will almost certainly see a result: England must remove Australia for less than one hundred further runs, then hope that the swing Johnson produced today disappears, otherwise it looks like we might be heading into game four of this fivematch series with the scores tied at 1-1.
On the 12th day, Australian cricket has woken up. The Ashes 2010/2011 is very much back on.
The Ashes 2010/2011 – Perth Scorecard – Day Two
- England won the toss and elected to field
- Australia 1st Innings total – 268 All Out
- England 1st Innings total – 187 All Out
- Australia 2nd Innings – 119 for 3 wickets
- Australia lead by 200 runs
Australia 1st Innings
- Watson – LBW Finn – 13
- Hughes – bowled Tremlett – 2
- Ponting – c Collingwood b Anderson – 12
- Clarke – c Prior b Tremlett – 4
- Hussey – c Prior b Swann – 61
- Smith – c Strauss b Tremlett – 7
- Haddin – c Swann b Anderson – 53
- Johnson – c Anderson b Finn – 62
- Harris – bowled Anderson – 3
- Siddle – Not Out – 35
- Hilfenhaus – c Cook b Swann – 13
- Extras – 3 (3 leg byes)
- TOTAL 268 All Out from 76.0 Overs
- Anderson – 20 overs, 3 maidens, 3 wickets for 61 runs
- Tremlett – 23 overs, 3 maidens, 3 wickets for 63 runs
- Finn – 15 overs, 1 maiden, 2 wickets for 86 runs
- Collingwood – 2 overs, 0 maidens, 0 wickets for 3 runs
- Swann – 16 overs, 0 maidens, 2 wickets for 52 runs
England 1st Innings
- Strauss – c Haddin b Harris – 52
- Cook – c Hussey b Johnson – 32
- Trott – LBW Johnson – 4
- Pietersen – LBW Johnson – 0
- Collingwoon – LBW Johnson – 5
- Bell – c Ponting b Harris – 53
- Prior – bowled Siddle – 12
- Swann – c Haddin b Harris – 11
- Tremlett – bowled Johnson – 2
- Anderson – c Watson b Johnson – 0
- Finn – Not Out – 1
- Extras – 15 (1nb, 2w, 8b, 4lb)
- TOTAL 187 All Out from 62.3 Overs
- Hilfenhaus – 21 overs, 6 maidens, 0 wickets for 53 runs
- Harris – 15 overs, 4 maiden, 3 wickets for 59 runs
- Siddle – 9 overs, 2 maiden, 1 wickets for 25 runs
- Johnson – 17.3 overs, 5 maiden, 6 wickets for 38 runs
Australia 2nd Innings
- Watson – Not Out – 61
- Hughes – c Collingwood b Finn – 12
- Ponting – c Prior b Finn – 1
- Clarke – bowled Tremlett – 20
- Hussey – Not Out – 24
- Extras – 1 (1nb)
- TOTAL 119 for 3 wickets from 33 Overs
- Anderson – 11 overs, 5 maidens, 0 wickets for 25 runs
- Tremlett – 9 overs, 2 maidens, 1 wickets for 20 runs
- Finn – 9 overs, 1 maiden, 2 wickets for 48 runs
- Swann – 4 overs, 0 maidens, 0 wickets for 26 runs