England 361 & 349-7d (Root 180) beat
Australia 128 & 235 (Swann 4-78) by 347 runs
Second Ashes Test, Lord’s
England were made to bowl all day in completing victory over Australia at Lord’s as James Pattinson played a doughty rearguard, along with his lower-order colleagues, to take the match deep into the extra half hour on the fourth day. He was, though, eventually trapped LBW by Graeme Swann in the final over.
However, even Pattinson‘s efforts couldn’t mask what had been another abysmal Australian batting performance. Only Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke had showed the necessary fight of the specialist batsmen, but even their fourth-wicket stand of 98 was far too fleeting. England’s bowlers - including Joe Root - all bowled well and the win was sealed with four balls of the fourth day remaining.
The home side didn’t have to wait too long for the first wicket after they had batted on for 25 balls in the morning; declaring when Joe Root perished trying to reach 200. Shane Watson was the man to depart, in predictable fashion. He planted his front foot too far across his stumps once again and the in-swinger from James Anderson struck him plumb in front. This time he didn’t call for a review.
Chris Rogers then became the first of two batsmen to badly misjudge the line of a delivery from Graeme Swann when he left a straight ball that didn’t turn away as he hoped and it hit his off-stump. Brad Haddin would later pad up to a similarly straight ball but, by then, the match as a contest was well over.
Phil Hughes made it three wickets for England before the luncheon interval when he played for non-existent turn and was struck on the pad. He was given out by Kumar Dharmasena, but reviewed the decision without reward, HawkEye showing the ball clipping his leg-stump.
All realistic hopes of Australia salvaging a draw were therefore pretty much over by lunch with the score on 48 for three. However, after the break, Michael Clarke, again batting at his preferred number five position, took the attack to England’s bowlers and in particular Swann.
He used his feet against the spinner to good effect and was the only man all day to look at home on the Lord’s pitch that was, by now, starting to show signs of uneven bounce and increasing amounts of turn.
His partner was Usman Khawaja, who made up for his first innings horror show by displaying creditable application. Whereas Clarke’s 50 took just 80 balls, Khawaja’s took 113. But it was no less valuable and the Australians must have started to dream.
However, a man who is certainly having a dream match turned those into nightmares shortly before tea. Joe Root was called upon to bowl his off-breaks and removed both Khawaja and Clarke in consecutive overs to turn the match finally and decisively in England’s favour. Clarke had been given a reprieve by Matt Prior early in his innings, but he was given no second chance. Root, bowling round the wicket, pitched the ball in the footholes and Clarke flicked the ball straight to Alastair Cook at leg-slip.
Khawaja was then caught in regulation fashion, pushing forward at a delivery which spun enough to take the outside edge and be caught by Anderson at slip. Tim Bresnan then benefited from a ill-judged waft from Steve Smith to make it 136 for six at tea.
All that remained from then on was to see if Australia could take the match into day five. There was, of course, time for the daily dose of DRS controversy. Ashton Agar was the unlucky man on this occasion.
He had played a couple of sumptuous cut shots off Bresnan but went for a drive which he looked to have touched on its way through to Prior.
However, Marais Erasmus gave it not out and England called for the review. Hot Spot showed no mark, replays were inconclusive and that should have been that. Third umpire Tony Hill, though, had different ideas and convinced himself that the noise alone was enough to overturn Eramsus’ decision. Agar walked off shaking his head and England had their seventh wicket.
Peter Siddle and James Pattinson then held things up following Brad Haddin’s departure via the poorly-judged leave against Swann. It isn’t the first time in the series that the lower-order has shown up the top-order and it may be worth Australia considering drawing names out of a hat to decide the batting order for the rest of the series.
Joking aside, the pair batted for around an hour and didn’t look overly troubled. Siddle was finally out-foxed by an Anderson reverse swinging delivery and was bowled, but Pattinson was joined by Ryan Harris and the pair forced the game into the extra half hour.
The crowd then began to drift away as they sensed that Australia would survive, but Swann struck to land the killer blow. The defeat by the margin of 347 runs is the third heaviest that Australia have suffered in Test cricket.
© Cricket World 2013