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Friday, December 27, 2013

Only Pietersen stands firm as England crumble against tight Australia bowling: Ashes T4 D1

England 6/226 (89ov, Pietersen 67*/152b/1x6 4x4, Carberry 38, Harris 20-8-32-2, Johnson 20-2-59-2) v Australia; T4/5 D1/5 at MCG. Australia won toss and sent England in. Australia unchanged, England Swann (ret) and Prior replaced by Panesar and Bairstow.

91,092 spectators turned up at the MCG to watch what turned out to be a day for the connoisseur of Test cricket, rather than the run feast which many of them may have wished for.

England, somewhat surprisingly sent in by Michael Clarke, never dominated an attack in which Ryan Harris was outstanding throughout while Mitchell Johnson came back late in the day to take two wickets. Only Kevin Pietersen, batting more responsibly than he's done hitherto in the series and riding his luck, stands in the way of Australia's dominance.

Pietersen aside, the England batting was poor: each of the top seven got a start of sorts ( if reaching double figures counts as a start), five of them got to 24 but Michael Carberry's 38 was the second best. Good as the bowling was, slipping from 1/96 to 6/226 was a weak effort.

There were times during the first half of the day when, as England gutsed it out, Iquestioned the wisdom of Clarke's decision to field. But by stumps his bowlers had more than vindicated his choice.

<a href="">Scorecard </a>
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