Ashes: Swann spins Australia into trouble

England on top after off-spinner’s five-for skittle out tourists for 128.

Afp July 19, 2013
England off-spinner Swann claimed an impressive five-for to put his side in a strong position to inflict an embarrassing defeat on Australia. PHOTO: AFP


Australia were bowled out for 128 in reply to England’s first-innings total of 361, a deficit of 233 runs, on the second day of the second Test at Lord’s yesterday.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann took five wickets for 44 runs in an innings where no batsman made more than Shane Watson’s 30.

Earlier, at tea, Australia were 96 for seven in reply to England’s first-innings 361.

Swann, who earlier in the day had smashed Australia for a quickfire 28 not out batting at number 11, had tea figures of three wickets for 27 runs in 15 overs.

Brad Haddin, whose 73 so nearly denied England a 14-run first Test win at Trent Bridge, was two not out, with Peter Siddle unbeaten on nought, as he faced another rescue mission.

Tim Bresnan took two wickets for nine runs to spark an initial collapse that saw Australia’s 42 without loss transformed into 53 for three early in the second session.

Shane Watson, in the story of a Test-batting career that has yielded just two hundreds, looked good making 30.

But, playing across his front pad, the opener was lbw to Bresnan, recalled after England dropped Steven Finn.

Poor reviews cost Australia dear at Trent Bridge.

But Watson still asked for a referral only for New Zealand’s Tony Hill to confirm Sri Lankan on-field colleague Kumar Dharmasena’s original decision.

Soon after lunch Chris Rogers was lbw in bizarre fashion.

The left-hander, missed a pull at a Swann full toss, after the ball appeared to slip out of the bowler’s hand, and was ‘boxed’.

South African umpire Marais Erasmus gave Rogers out lbw for 15 on the left-hander’s Middlesex home ground.

Rogers opted against seeking a review, although replays later indicated the ball would have missed leg stump.

Phil Hughes fell next, out for one when he nicked a wide delivery from Bresnan to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Dharmasena quickly raised his finger but Hughes sought a review only for Hill to decide there was insufficient evidence to overturn the original verdict.

Australia, whose fallible top order had been their Achilles heel at Trent Bridge, had lost three wickets for 11 runs in front of a sun-drenched capacity crowd of more than 28,000 at ‘the home of cricket’.

There was no doubt, however, about the manner in which Australia were four down.

Usman Khawaja, brought in after Australia axed Ed Cowan who on seven saw Jonathan Trott drop a routine slip catch off Swann, gave his wicket away to the spinner on 14 when he holed out to Kevin Pietersen at mid-off.

Not for the first time in his career, Australia captain Michael Clarke, the tourists’ best batsman, came in with his side in trouble.

Clarke could only watch Swann sweep the Australian side aside with wickets tumbling at regular intervals before the visitors were bundled out for 128.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2013.

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