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Australia corner England after a great all-round day

Australia's Mitchell Marsh celebrating the wicket of Ben Stokes on day two of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval.
Australia's Mitchell Marsh celebrating the wicket of Ben Stokes on day two of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 481 (Smith 143) v
107-8 (Marsh 3-18)
Fifth Test, The Oval, day two

Australia moved into a position of great strength posting 481 and coming back to have England on the ropes at 107 for eight at stumps on day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval.

Australia started their day on 287 for three after 79.4 overs and England took the new ball as soon as it was available.

Adam Voges (76) brought up his half-century with a four off Stuart Broad (0-59) in the 85th over.

In the next over, Steven Smith (143) took Australia to 300 for three with a four through the covers off Mark Wood (1-59).

Ben Stokes (3-133) got the first breakthrough of the day pinning Voges with an excellent in-swinger that caught him in front of the stumps.

Voges reviewed the decision but it was plumb and Australia were 332 for four after 93 overs at that point.

Steven Finn (3-90) almost got his 100th Test wicket the very next ball, making Smith slash one to the wicket-keeper but it turned out to be a big no ball.

Finn did get his 100th a few overs later when Mitchell Marsh (3) edged a shorter delivery to second slip. Australia reached 343 for five after 100 overs.

Smith got to his century soon enough and then celebrated it with a six off Moeen Ali (3-102).

Ali though bowled a double-wicket over on the stroke of lunch, first getting Peter Nevill (18) edging to Jos Buttler.

He then got Mitchell Johnson (0) a couple of balls later as the latter missed an off break. Australia went into lunch at 376 for seven.

In the post-lunch session, Smith and Mitchell Starc (58) frustrated England further.

Starc brought up the fifty partnership which came in just 56 balls, with a six over long-on and then smacked another four down the ground, scoring at way more than a strike rate of 100, as Australia reached 435 for seven after 116 overs.

Starc was dropped at square leg by Wood off the bowling of Joe Root (0-13), after which he hit consecutive fours off Stokes and in the next over got to his fifty in just 45 balls, with a single off Root.

Finn got the big wicket of Smith, seven short of his 150 chopping one onto his stumps.

Stokes got Starc in the next over after a brilliant cameo and Australia were eventually bundled out for 481 after 125.1 overs. Ali, Finn and Stokes all finished with three wickets apiece.

England’s innings was a disaster after a good first half hour. They went to 30 for no loss after seven overs when Nathan Lyon (2-32) got Alastair Cook (22) bowled on the brink of tea.

In the post-tea session it was all Australia. Peter Siddle (2-18), who waited so long for a chance, got a wicket with his second ball, when Adam Lyth (19) lobbed a catch to mid-on.

After four successive maidens, England were 50 for two after 17 overs.

Ian Bell (10) lost his off bail missing a brilliant ball from Siddle. Next over Marsh (3-18) got Root (6) to edge one to the wicket-keeper.

Turned down by the umpire, Australia reviewed and while Hot Spot showed nothing, Snicko ruled in their favour.

The collapse continued when after a flurry of fours, Jonny Bairstow (13) was undone by a fast bouncer from Johnson (1-21).

Buttler (1) got a sharp off break from Lyon that beat the bat and castled the stumps, in the very next over.

Any hopes of a lower-order revival were gone when Stokes (15) played a horrendous hook top-edging a catch to the keeper.

Marsh turned that over into a double-wicket maiden as he removed Broad (0) as well who nicked one to first slip.

England ended the day on 107 for eight after 40 overs, still 374 runs behind and 175 away from avoiding the follow-on.

Siddle was the pick of the Australian bowlers with great economy and control while Marsh wrecked the England middle order.

© Cricket World 2015