Chaotic Australia crash all out on first day


ADELAIDE: England backed up a sensational three-wicket start inspired by James Anderson to bowl out Australia for 245 on an extraordinary opening day of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
Australia got off to their worst Test start in 60 years at two for three in the opening three overs and then lost their last five wickets for 38 to hand England the inside running on a crucial early victory in the series. It was a horror performance by Australia,
coming off the drawn first Gabba Test and needing to finish ahead of holders England to reclaim the Ashes. Anderson was the best of England’s bowlers, snaring the crucial wickets of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke in his 4-51 off 19 overs.
“It was a fantastic start and we obviously didn’t expect to have them 2-3, so we were delighted but we didn’t want to get too carried away with that, and we just created pressure all day,” Anderson said. “It was a hugely satisfying day for everyone to come to a ground which is a notoriously flat pitch with big first innings scores and I thought it was great to keep them to such a low score.”
At the close, England’s openers had negotiated one over to be one without loss. If not for Mike Hussey it would have been considerably worse for Australia with the senior number five batsman showing plenty of spirit in a fighting 93 before 38,615 spectators, one of the biggest Ashes crowds here in decades.
England had a sensational start when they removed senior opener Simon Katich, skipper Ponting and vice-captain Clarke in an amazing opening spell. Australia were reeling at 2-3 inside the third over with only Lindsay Hassett’s team faring worst at 0-3 in the second innings of the 1950 Brisbane Ashes Test.
Katich set off a calamitous day for Australia when he was run out by a direct hit from Jonathan Trott side on at square leg. Shane Watson hared off for a single off an lbw appeal on Anderson’s fourth ball of the innings and Katich had the misfortune to be out without facing a ball, a victim of chaotic communication with his opening partner.
“The tone was set by Jonathan Trott’s run out,” Anderson said. “I thought it was a fantastic bit of fielding, he kept his composure when he could’ve panicked and we just took it from there.” There was more calamity to come for Australia when Ponting edged Anderson’s outswinger to Graeme Swann at second slip for his fifth Test first-ball duck.
The hosts plunged into deeper trouble when Clarke on two went hard after a moving Anderson delivery and again snicked to Swann in the slips. Three Australian wickets had tumbled in 10 balls. Watson was out in the second over after lunch, slicing his drive off Anderson to Kevin Pietersen in the gully for 51 leaving Australia at 96 for four.
The notoriously inconsistent Marcus North looked to have played himself in on 26 before he attempted a lazy late cut off Steven Finn and edged to Matt Prior. Offspinner Swann was on a hattrick after getting some turn to have Hussey dismissed seven runs short of his century and next ball had recalled paceman Ryan Harris lbw for a duck.
Hussey, dropped in a return catch by Anderson when on three, was on track for his third consecutive Ashes century before he was deceived by a turner from Swann and was snapped up by Paul Collingwood at slip. The veteran left-hander, who scored 121 in the second innings at The Oval last year, hit 195 in the first Gabba Test last week and was looking in good touch to make it three in a row.
“We’re still pretty upbeat. We know that tomorrow’s a very important day in the context of this Test match,” Hussey said. “We know we’re going to have to bowl well but we can take a lot of heart that England were bowled out for 260 in the first Test in Brisbane and came back very strongly. “It doesn’t mean we’ve lost the Test match whatsoever.”
Xavier Doherty saw off the hattrick threat, but became the second run-out victim of the day in a mix-up with Haddin, who went on to make 56.