By BV Swagath
Australia for the first time has put England under serious pressure in the series by capturing a couple of wickets before the close of Day 2. England is 52 for 2 in 30 overs in reply to Australia’s 527 for 7 declared.
Joe Root was the first to depart, when he was forced to edge a Peter Siddle delivery to the keeper in the 24th over. Root faced 57 balls but scored only 8. It was a superb delivery from Siddle, angling in from the edge of the crease but moving away just enough to take the nick. Prior to this, Australia had surprisingly batted for about 10 minutes or so before declaring.
Australia's second success came just a few minutes before the close. Tim Bresnan, sent in as the night watchman was wrongly given caught behind off Siddle in an attempted pull. Umpire Erasmus assumed that Bresnan (1 from 15 balls) had under edged his shot to the keeper but replays showed that the ball had only brushed the trouser. Being the night watchman, Bresnan didn’t take the review despite walking off unconvinced about the Umpire’s decision. Skipper Cook also has to be blamed for not encouraging Bresnan to seek a review.
By Stumps, England has Cook on 36* (from 99 balls) with Jonathan Trott (2*) at the crease. The Aussie attack looks very potent with off-spinner Nathan Lyon getting square turn from the good surface of the pitch.
Update at Tea on Day 2: Australia is heading towards a declaration having gone past the 500-run mark. There is a threat of rain in the final session which will also see the English batsmen fight it out for survival in this Test.
The post lunch session saw Skipper Michael Clarke miss out on a maiden double century against England. Clarke fell for 187, chopping on a nasty short one from Broad onto the stumps. The Aussie Captain left the park with his side at 427 for 6. Peter Siddle, who replaced him lasted just the six balls before getting cleaned up by an arm ball from Swann, in an attempted slog sweep. Swann claimed his 17th Test five-wicket with Siddle's dismissal.
Australia slipped to 430 for 7 and so easily could have squandered away the efforts of their Captain. Fortunately for the tourists, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc got a superb partnership to bat England out of the contest. Haddin is on 57* (from 92 balls) while Starc has smashed 54* in as many balls. Australia at Tea is 507 for 7 in 142 overs.
Update at Lunch on Day 2: It wasn’t the best of sessions for the Aussies but they have progressed to a healthy total of 392 for 5. Skipper Michael Clarke is still there which is the best news for the visitors who are desperately looking to bounce back in this series. Clarke has moved onto 168* from 282 balls with 23 fours. He has got Brad Haddin at the other end looking very positive on 18*.
The visitors collected 89 runs in 25 overs this morning losing the wickets of Steven Smith and David Warner. Both the batsmen fell to Graeme Swann. Steven Smith could have easily scored what could have been a maiden Test hundred, but a rush of blood saw him attempt a slog sweep and miscue it to mid wicket. Smith finished with 89 from 196 balls with 8 fours. His partnership for the 4th wicket with Clarke was worth 214 runs.
David Warner finding himself in a new position at no.6 lasted only 10 balls before he got a thick edge off a turning ball from Swann to slip following a rebound off the keeper’s shin. Warner took a review ridiculously and lost it although he was foxed by his bat hitting the pad at the same time.