Ashes 2009: Ponting And Katich Make England Toil
England were bowled out for 435 after runs came quickly on the morning of day two of the opening Ashes Test against Australia in Cardiff and Australia then reached stumps in the dominant position of 247 for one.
England began with intent as Stuart Broad and James Anderson mixed luck with a touch of class to get the run rate rising quickly. Broad (19) didn’t last long though when a ball from Mitchell Johnson struck his thigh pad and fell onto his stumps.
Graeme Swann came to the crease with an attacking intent as he took the attack to the Australian bowlers. Nathan Hauritz, in particular, was singled out for some severe treatment from Swann with him striking a number of boundaries in succession, including an audacious reverse sweep for four that took England over 400.
Anderson then joined Swann on the attack and he got to 28 with an impressive lofted drive over mid off from Hauritz. However, the next ball he tried to repeat his success but mis-timed his shot to be caught at mid off.
Monty Panesar (5) came to the crease to the usual roar, but did not stay long and he proided a regulation catch to slip from the off spinner Hauritz. Swann was left stranded on 47 as England were bowled out for 435.
There was early encouragement for James Anderson as he swung the ball back prodigiously to strike Phil Hughes on the pads first ball of the innings, but a huge LBW appeal was turned down. Hughes, who struggled in the warm up matches, started very positively with the England bowlers giving him too much width and he raced on to 28 from just 30 balls at lunch with a number of scything boundaries through the off side. Simon Katich was supporting him and he was six not out as Australia went to lunch on 39 for no wicket.
After lunch, Andrew Flintoff got his first bowl of the Ashes and began in aggressive style, following a fearsome bouncer to Phil Hughes with a few choice words. Both Flintoff and Stuart Broad gave Hughes (36) a working over immediately after lunch and it was no surprise when he inside edged an attempted cut to keeper Matt Prior off Flintoff to give England their first wicket.
Just like England yesterday, it was attritional play for most of the afternoon session, with Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich looking comfortable. There were a couple of milestones within the session, Katich recorded his half century, ending the session on 53 not out, and Ponting, who went to tea on 44 not out, notched up his 11,000th run in Test match cricket.
Worryingly for England, Monty Panesar looked less than threatening, proving expensive in comparison to his spin partner, Swann. England will be looking for wickets to claw back some ground on Australia in the day’s play.
The same theme continued after tea as Ponting and Katich extended their partnership. They put on 189 for the second wicket and both recorded centuries, 100 not out and 104 not out respectively. England’s bowlers were made to toil throughout the evening session and will want to strike early tomorrow morning to get back into the game.
© Cricket World 2009