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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Wickets from first two balls and it didn't get much better thereafter: Ashes T3 D2

England 2/116 (36ov, A Strauss 64*) trail Australia 263 (70.4 ov, S Watson 62, J Anderson 5/80, G Onions 4/58) by 147 runs on first innings with 8 wkts in hand
: Ashes 09 T3 D2 at Edgbaston.

Graham Onions wouldn't have been everyone's choice to open the bowling on D2 but he was Andrew Strauss's. With his first delivery Onions had Shane Watson lbw, then bowled Mike Hussey, who misread the line, with his next. 1,2,3 for 126 and the game had swung England's way, where it stayed for the rest of another short day.

A generally assured Ricky Ponting (38) and a less so Michael Clarke (29) were unable to mount the salvage operation required. Jimmy Anderson took over from Onions as the spearhead and cut through the middle order: Clarke was fifth out at 193, which became a dispiriting 8/203 at lunch and a not much better 263 all out not long afterwards.

Onions and Anderson bowled magnificently, swinging the ball in conditions which favoured them somewhat. One or two of the umpiring decisions might have gone the other way but most of the Australian batting looked inept.

Could the Australian bowlers take a leaf out of Anderson's and Onions' books? Short answer no, despite Peter Siddle having Alistair Cook caught neatly by Graham Manou. Strauss showed his class and in the gloaming kept his team on target for what should be a first innings lead.

I will say it again: Australia missed Stuart Clark.

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