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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

1-0 to England: Ashes 09 T2 D5

England 425 and 6/311 dec beat Australia 215 and 406 (107 ov, M Clarke 136, B Haddin 80, M Johnson 63, A Flintoff 5/92, G Swann 4/87) by 115 runs: Ashes T2 D2 at Lord's.

England were on top pretty well throughout the match and deserved to win. Congratulations to them.

The 115 run margin was, if closer than looked likely on D4 when Australia were 5/128 in their second innings, undeniably emphatic. As the first England win at Lord's in an Ashes Test since 1934 the victory will give the team an additional morale boost.

On D5 neither Brad Haddin nor Michael Clarke was able to carry on from where they left off the evening before: Haddin was caught in the slips off Andrew Flintoff without adding to his overnight 80 (130b/ 10x4) or his team's 313, while Clarke added only 11 to his tally before Graeme Swann bowled him for 136 (227b/14x4). Mitchell Johnson's aggressive 63 (75b/9x4) featured some strong hitting and driving but but itself was never going to get Australia home. Flintoff bowled throughout the session to finish with 5/92; he was well if less ostentatiously supported by Swann's 4/87.

Flintoff won the Player of the Match Award, though as our former PM John Howard astutely observed during a guest spot on today's ABC RN Breakfast, England won the game on the back of Andrew Strauss' 161 and good bowling from Jimmy Anderson and the other quicks which skittled Australia for a paltry first inngs 215.

Where to from here?

Australia have the job in front of them to regroup before T3. There will be much discussion about what changes should be made: should Johnson, or Phillip Hughes or both, be dropped are some of the more important questions. I think that room must be made for Stuart Clark unless he performs poorly in the 3 day match at Northhampton. He can (or should be able to) provide the nagging accuracy which makes it harder for batters to break into a gallop.


England have a few issues of their own, eg can Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen keep fit enough to contribute as the former has and the latter should in first two Tests? Winning two of the three remaining Tests to recover the Ashes is a big ask, but not an impossible task.

Scorecard

PS British Airways and Qantas are offering 425 UK - Sydney flights for 215 pounds each . (thanks to my daughter for drawing my attention to this).
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