England on top despite late strikes
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 21st August 2009
The final Test continued to throw up surprises as it was the turn of the Australian team to collapse and then fight-back from the brink. England after being dismissed fought back spectacularly to reduce Australia from 61 for loss to 160 all-out. Broad was the hero and he was well-supported by the off-spinner Swann as they combined to decimate the Australian batting line-up. Australia then struck back with the ball to reduce England 39 for 3 but then skipper Strauss and the debutant Trott made sure that England to the end off the day without any further hiccups. The English score at the close of the day stood at 58 for 3 with an overall lead off 230 runs with seven wickets standing.
Hilfenhaus presented Anderson his first duck in his Test career when he trapped him with an inswinger. Harmison and Broad then proceeded to add 24 in 4.1 overs before Hilfenhaus again got into the act to remove Broad to terminate Englandís innings. Australia in reply started off strongly and steadily as Watson and Katich warded off the opening burst from Flintoff and Anderson without much alarm. Persistent drizzle forced early lunch and the Australians were placed at a comfortable 61 for no loss. It seemed that England needed an inspirational spell from Flintoff to push the Australians onto backfoot.
But it was Broad who took up the mantle as he along with Swann dismantled the Australian batting line-up with a combination of controlled swing and spin bowling. Australia lost eight wickets for 72 runs in a dramatic 24.4 overs of the afternoon session to hand advantage back into Englandís hand. Broad was handed the ball to stymie the flow of runs but in the process he soon took up the mantle of strike bowler. First he trapped Watson with a one that kept low to start the procession of wickets. Next to go was Ricky Ponting who was cramped for room by Broad as he inside-edged one onto his stumps. Michael Husseyís horror series continued when he horrendously misjudged a straighter one from Broad as he offered his pad to be trapped plumb before his stumps for a duck.
Clarke looked in his zone from the first ball he faced and it looked certain that he was in due for a big score. But unfortunately for him, his uppish cover drive was snaffled up by Trott who was strategically placed at short extra-cover as England removed a major threat from their way. Strauss introduced Swann into the attack and he immediately began to trouble the two left-handers-Katich and North-with his sharp off-breaks. North was unlucky to be judged leg-before by the umpire off Swann when he got a profitable edge onto his pad. Katich meanwhile completed a serene half-century but his stay was terminated by a delivery from Swann which bounced more to catch his inside edge for Cook at short-leg to take accept the ballooning ball. In the very next over Broad produced a beautiful away swinging yorker to clean-up Haddin to claim his second five-wicket haul in the series.
Mitchell Johnson tried to blast his way out before a wickedly turning ball from Swann got his outside and Prior did well to take a sharp catch. Clarke was at the wrong end of another debatable umpiring decision when he was adjudged to giving a bat-pad catch. Flintoff then cleaned up Hilfenhaus with an unplayable reverse-swinging yorker to end the Australian innings.
The English openers in the second essay did not look hurried as they knew that they had enough time on their hands. Strauss took every opportunity that was presented to him to keep the scoreboard ticking but Cook did not look comfortable with his stay in the middle. North was introduced as early as the eleventh over and he struck in his third ball when he got one to spin and bounce to catch Cooks outside for Clark at first slip to take the catch. Bell was off the mark off the first ball when he cut a short and wide ball from North to point boundary. But he did not last wrong when Katichís alertness at short leg cut short his stay. Bell got one from Johnson on his legs which he flicked but Katich was alert enough to get his hands low to intercept the ballís patch to snaffle up a sharp chance as England slipped to 34 for 2. England slipped further when Collingwood was unable to keep a sharp bouncer from Johnson which he lobbed up for Katich to take the catch. Strauss and Trott then saw to the stumps without any further damage.