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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Anderson leads demolition of Australia: T3D1

England 3/133 (29ov, Bell 53/56b/10x4, Cook 34, Root 30*, Lyon 2/3) are  3 runs behind Australia's 1st inns of 136 (36.4ov, Rogers 52/89b//9x4, Anderson 14.4-2-47-6, Broad 2/44, Finn 2/38) T3/5 D1/5 at Edgbaston. Toss: Australia.

Australia never really recovered from 3/34. Jimmy Anderson. the old hand who many wondered whether should have been retained after poor figures at Lord's, struck first by removing David Warner then Steven Finn, restored to the Test XI after a 2 year absence, used helpful conditions to remove D
Steve Smith and Michael Clarke cheaply. Chris Rogers batted through this with his wait-for-the-ball -to-hit- and-hit-it hard-into-a-gap strokeplay and Adam Voges looked solid until lunch. But after that interval,  which was prolonged by rain, Anderson returned and, in collaboration with Stuart Broad, whose wicket of Rogers at 110 removed England's last remaining significant obstacle, took the last 7 wickets for 59.

England batted and, but for more rain and some loose strokes, would probably already have passed Australia's first innings 136. Ian Bell proved me wrong  ( I admit to thinking he should have been omitted) but has preserved, if not perhaps secured, his place for the rest of the series. Which team will benefit most from this remains to be seen.

Australia's middle order batting was patethic. Voges, whose 16 was the second highest score of the innings, the rest (no names, no pack drill) were appalling - read the Cricinfo reports for for how they fell. Yes, the conditions - weather and a friendlier pitch for bowlers than in the preceding Tests- helped, but the application, shot selection etc was below Test standard, even for the Edgbaston pitch and the conditions.

When England batted, the quick bowlers made little impact either in the wicket taking department or in observing the fundamentals of line and length , as they had by and large done at Lord's. They seemed to have slept through the onfield masterclass which Anderson had given earlier in the day.

The likeliest winners now are either England or the rain.

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