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Friday, July 17, 2009

England dominate early, surrender initiative later: Ashes 09 T2 D1

England 6/364 (90 ov, A Strauss 161*, A Cook 95) v Australia: Ashes Test #2 Day 1 at Lord's

Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook took advantage of some abominable Australian bowling, much of it from Mitchell Johnson, and slack fielding to race to 0/126 at lunch from 27 overs. Johnson's propensity to bowl short outside off stump helped first Strauss then Cook accelerate.

It was a surprise, not least to Johnson, when Cook was lbw to him for 95. Thereafter the Australians regrouped (they surely couldn't have kept going in the sub-Test standard manner) and gradually worked their way through the middle order. The bowlers were assisted by some poor shot selection, notably by Kevin Pietersen (no excuses) and Paul Collingwood (perhaps deserving a bit of slack after his efforts at Cardiff) .

Ben Hilfenhaus was the best of the attack over the day, though Nathan Hauritz blotted his copybook and dislocated a finger when he missed a hard hit return catch at 0/154.

The pitch was true and the outfield fast yet I think England had the better of the day. I thought the same after D1 at Cardiff so will wait to see what happens before predicting a result.

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