Second Day Final Ashes Test: Brilliant Broad Inspires England Fightback

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Second Day Final Ashes Test: Brilliant Broad Inspires England Fightback
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

England took control of the final Ashes test but will have to be wary against complacency after a wonderful spell of bowling from Stuart Broad saw Australia collapse from 73-0 from to 160 all out.

England came out to bat the start of the day at 307-8 and Australia got stuck in quickly, with James Anderson being dismissed for his first duck in 54 Test match innings, leaving England 308-9.

After a brief cameo innings from Steve Harmison, who added 24 for the final wicket with Stuart Broad, England were all-out for 332, the latter going hard and edging a catch to Ricky Ponting at slip.

Australia started their reply nervously, with Flintoff and Anderson troubling Shane Watson in particular. He was lucky to survive an LBW shout from Flintoff in the sixth over, with Hawk-Eye suggesting that the ball would have gone on to hit middle and leg. 

However both openers made it to lunch, with Australia moving forward ominously at 61-0. After a rain delayed start to the afternoon session, England's first bowling change was immediately successful, Broad trapping Watson in front with the final ball of his first over.

This wicket was the first in a wonderful spell from the 23 year old, who proceeded to knock over four more Australian wickets in tandem with Nottinghamshire team-mate Graeme Swann.

Broad's next victim was Australia captain Ricky Ponting, playing on to a short of a length delivery. Broad added Mike Hussey to his list of victims in his very next over, Mr. Cricket continuing his poor run of form in this series by being trapped in front for just three.

Broad continued his demon spell in his next over, picking up the in form Michael Clarke, who drove hard for Jonathan Trott to take wonderfully at short extra cover, sending the England fans into raptures.

By this point Australian heads had begun to drop and their mood wasn't helped by Graeme Swann picking up Marcus North leg before wicket. North was unfortunate as television replays suggested that he got a significant inside edge.  

A bad day got worse for Australia as Katich, who had played wonderfully for his 50 was caught at short leg by Alistair Cook.

At this point, England fans could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes in disbelief a seemingly meagre total was beginning to look like a match winner, with Australia at this point 109-6, still 24 runs short of the follow-on and the tail very exposed.

Broad completed his five-for in his next over, with arguably the best ball of the series, shaping in to Brad Haddin's leg before swerving and clattering the wicket-keeper's off-stump.

Mitchell Johnson was next to fall, edging a tossed up delivery from Swann into the grateful hands of wicket-keeper Matt Prior. The session closed with Australia 131-8, having at one stage been 73 for no wicket, Broad the most deadly of the England bowlers, finishing with figures of 12-1-37-5.

England continued the onslaught after tea, Stuart Clark becoming Swann's fourth victim, unfortunately given out caught at short leg, Umpire Rauf again making a poor decision as the ball was nowhere near his bat.

Flintoff took the last wicket of the Australian innings after a dogged final wicket stand of 17 from Siddle and Hilfenhaus, clean bowling the latter, leaving Australia all-out for just 160.

It was not all plain sailing for England as they produced some indifferent batting before the close of play to perhaps give Australia a sniff of an increasingly unlikely victory. Cook prodded part-time spinner Marcus North to slip, a dismissal that may have elicited a wry smile from Australian specialist spinner Nathan Hauritz, left out for this test match.

Bell got off the mark immediately with a four, but was caught without adding to this, Katich taking a magnificent short leg catch off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson.

Things got worse for England as Collingwood continued his run of indifferent form, making just one before bat-padding Johnson to Katich again to reduce England to 39-3. In truth, Collingwood got a raw deal, as replays suggest that Umpire Rauf made yet another incorrect decision, Collingwood's wicket coming off a no-ball.

Debutante Jonathan Trott and captain Andrew Strauss saw out the remaining overs to leave England 58-3, with a lead of 230 runs. This, combined with an ever-deteriorating pitch, should leave England confident of wrapping up victory and reclaiming the Ashes.

Play resumes again tomorrow at 11 AM.

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