England on top

Graeme Swann took a five-wicket haul today to undermine Australia’s batting.
Graeme Swann took a five-wicket haul today to undermine Australia’s batting.

…leading by 264 runs after second day of ashes test

England closed on 31 for 3 in their second innings, a lead of 264, after 16 wickets fell on day two of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s today.

Spinner Graeme Swann claimed 5 for 44 as Australia collapsed to 128 all out shortly after tea in response to England’s first-innings 361.

With an advantage of 233 runs, England captain Alastair Cook declined to enforce the follow-on and, instead, Peter Siddle made inroads into their top order with a spell of 3-4 from five overs before the close.

Cook (8) and Jonathan Trott (0) both dragged on and Kevin Pietersen (5) was caught at point from a mistimed drive, leaving nightwatchman Tim Bresnan (0 not out) to join Joe Root (18 not out) through to stumps.

The Aussies’ batting line-up had lasted only 53.3 overs in total to undo the earlier good work of Ryan Harris, who finished with 5 for 72 in England’s first innings to get his name on the honours board.

Australia openers Shane Watson and Chris Rogers actually made a positive start, putting on 42 in good time with Watson racing to 30, including six fours.

But Watson’s exit to the final ball before lunch, lbw to Bresnan in familiar fashion, was the start of a collapse of 10 for 86 in 41 overs.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena raised the finger to Bresnan’s appeal and his judgment was confirmed by ‘Hawkeye’ after Watson – just as he had in the second innings when lbw to Stuart Broad at Trent Bridge last week – burned one of Australia’s two reviews for the innings with an optimistic referral.

Swann got rid of Rogers, also lbw, for 15 with a full toss. Had the left-hander reviewed umpire Marais Erasmus’ decision, it would have been overturned as it was comfortably missing leg stump.

Phil Hughes (1) did review his caught-behind dismissal off Bresnan (2 for 28) three overs later but there was no clear evidence either way and ‘Snicko’ – not part of the DRS – later indicated a clear edge.

Usman Khawaja, recalled in place of Ed Cowan at No.3 for this match, was dropped by Jonathan Trott at slip from Swann’s bowling but that reprieve was only temporary and he was on his way for 14 after holing out to Pietersen at mid-off giving the same bowler the charge.

Swann added a third wicket, that of Steve Smith (2) to a reaction catch by Ian Bell at short-leg off the glove, and Broad (1-26) joined the party in the next over by sending Australia skipper Michael Clarke – who had batted fluently for 28 amid the carnage – to an lbw verdict that he was unable to review even if he’d wanted.

And the tourists’ miserable afternoon session was completed when Ashton Agar (2) was run out at the non-striker’s end after coming three-quarters of the way down before being sent back by his partner Brad Haddin.

From 96 for 7 at tea, Australia’s tail folded quickly.

Peter Siddle (2) gave James Anderson (1 for 25) his first wicket of the innings by steering an edge to Swann at second slip.

Haddin (7) was also held at slip, by Trott off Swann, after toe-ending a big heave across the line and Harris (10) was last to go, Pietersen taking an over-the-shoulder catch at mid-on to give Swann the 16th five-wicket haul of his Test career – and second at Lord’s.

England resumed on 289 for 7 at the start of day two but lost Bresnan to the first ball of the day and it needed a last-wicket stand of 48 off 40 balls to see them past 350.

Harris accounted for Bresnan and Anderson, both caught behind, before Broad (33) and Swann (28 not out) threw the bat to good effect.

Swann was briefly off the field at the start of Australia’s reply after taking a blow on the forearm but soon returned to turn the game England’s way. (Sky)

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