Cricket-England bowlers strike after lunch in Ashes

Reuters

Fri, 26 Nov 05:01:00 2010

* England fight back after lunch

* Aggressive Hussey proving trouble

England's bowlers struck back with four wickets, including that of Australia captain Ricky Ponting, after lunch on the second day of the first Ashes test on Friday to reduce the hosts to 168-5 at tea.

Mike Hussey was at the crease having made an aggressive 46 not out with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (9) with him still 92 runs behind England's first innings total of 260.

After labouring hard for one wicket in the morning, James Anderson came out firing after the break and got immediate reward when Ponting was caught behind by wicketkeeper Matt Prior for 10 in the first over.

His fellow quick Steve Finn kept up the pressure with his first Ashes wicket when he caught and bowled opener Simon Katich, who had survived a couple of scares to make 50, his 25th test half century.

Hussey, under pressure for his place in the side after a thin run of form, tried to take the game back at England, hitting 18 runs off spinner Graeme Swann's second over of the day, including the first six of the contest over long-on.

England's bowlers retook the initiative, however, with another two wickets in quick succession.

Michael Clarke had endured a torrid 51-minute examination, including a TV review of a suspected inside edge and a bang on the helmet from a Stuart Broad bouncer, when Finn snared him caught behind by Prior for nine.

Swann, tipped to be a big influence on the series, had tightened up his line and style of attack and got his reward when Marcus North was dismissed for one courtesy of a good low catch by Paul Collingwood at slip.

Anderson got the only wicket to fall in front of another packed house on a sunny morning at the Gabba, having Shane Watson caught in the slips by Andrew Strauss for 36.

The series began with a bang on Thursday when Australian paceman Peter Siddle took six wickets, including only the third Ashes hat-trick in the last century.

Australia have not lost a test match at the Gabba since 1988 but even if they extend that record the series looks like being as close as many had predicted.

 

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