Australia 295 (BJ Haddin 94) & 0/65 v England 136 (MG Johnson 4/61, RJ Harris 3/28)
A stunning hour of play where Australia took 6 English wickets for just 9 runs has turned a Test match and maybe a series on its head. At 2/82 England had work to do but were seemingly in control until Kevin Pietersen, whose scoring had been dried up by a miserly Ryan Harris, chipped the adopted Queenslander to George Bailey at mid wicket and was gone for 18. A fired up Mitchell Johnson went around the wicket to England opener Michael Carberry and after digging a few in at him slanted a delivery across the left hander which was edged to Watson at slip. We are seeing Good Mitch in this game, his bowling arm is at a good height and he’s bowling with pace and venom. There’s world of difference between Good Mitch and Bad Mitch. Enjoy Good Mitch while he’s here. Nathan Lyon, getting good bounce dismissed Ian Bell and Matt Prior in consecutive deliveries, both well caught by by Steve Smith at short leg. Good (Great?) Mitch removed Root, to another sharp Smith catch, this time at third slip and Swann as the tourists slumped to 8/91. The Barmy Army were silenced. England passed the follow-on score, it was an unthinkable scenario that the follow on would even be talked about an hour earlier, and it was Harris and Siddle who took the last two wickets. Harris finished with 3/28 off 15 probing overs, also taking Alistair Cook’s wicket for a sixth time at the start of the innings. The former South Australian has become Australia’s best and most reliable bowler. Johnson finished with 4/61 to go with his 64 runs on Day 1. Lyon justified his deserved selection and continued his good record at the Gabba with 2/17 off 9 overs, while Peter Siddle, who dropped a caught and bowled from the blade of Pietersen when the ‘Englishman’ playing his 100th Test was on 8, took 1/24 off 11.4. Watto’s hammy was spared a stint at the bowling crease, a good result for Australia.
Earlier in the day Brad Haddin led Australia from 8/273 to 295 all out, a total that looked below par on a good batting pitch. The keeper was the last man out for 94 attempting an ambitious second run in his 50th Test match. The wicket of Ryan Harris gave Stuart Broad, cast as the Summer’s main villain, 6/61 and a loud chorus of boos as he held up the ball when leaving the field at innings end. Broad and his bowling mates have a big job ahead of them on Day 3 as Australia resume on 0/65 with Warner on 45 and looking in great touch, and Rogers on 15. But, as we saw on Day 2, a Test match can swing dramatically in just an hour of cricket. Don’t write off the Poms yet.