Anderson leaves Australia gasping

Cricket: The Ashes: England pace bowler grabs four wickets on day two as visitors fight to avoid follow-on

Anderson leaves Australia gasping


James Anderson bowls on the second day of the second cricket test match between England and Australia in London. AP

Ashes holders Australia were 156 for eight at stumps on the second day of the second Test -- still 269 runs behind England’s first innings 425 and needing a further 70 runs to avoid the follow-on.

Swing bowler Anderson had taken four wickets for 36 runs in 17 overs -- his best Test figures against Australia -- after scoring 29 during a valuable 10th wicket stand of 47 with recalled quick Graham Onions.

Tailenders Nathan Hauritz and Peter Siddle were both three not out.

England, with the 26-year-old Anderson striking twice, had reduced Australia to 10 for two before lunch.

Left-handers Simon Katich and Michael Hussey -- two of only three Australia batsmen who made it into double figures on Friday along with Brad Haddin -- repaired the damage during a patient stand of 93.

Katich was in sight of fifty when he casually pulled Onions and Stuart Broad at long leg took a fine diving catch.

Hussey, who missed out in Cardiff, did complete an 82-ball fifty. He’d been leaving well but, on 51, he misjudged an Andrew Flintoff delivery and was bowled shouldering arms.

Australia were now 111 for four and fast bowler Flintoff, two days after announcing his intention to retire from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes, finished with fine figures of one for 27 in 12 overs. Flintoff’s Lancashire team-mate Anderson then took his third wicket of the innings to turn 111 for four into 111 for five when Michael Clarke chipped him straight to well-placed short mid-wicket Alastair Cook. Australia had lost three wickets for eight runs in 25 balls and were now more than a hundred away from avoiding the follow-on. Marcus North, another Cardiff century-maker, was out for nought after losing patience and playing on to Anderson as he aimed across the line.

Mitchell Johnson and Haddin, who made a hundred in Cardiff, both fell to Broad hooking to leave Australia in desperate trouble at 152 for eight. But with shadows falling across the pitch, the umpires called a halt before rain ended any chance of a resumption.

Anderson produced a ball that had Ponting falling over across his stumps and appealed, seemingly for lbw.

But the ball carried to England captain Andrew Strauss at first slip. The umpires referred the appeal to third umpire Nigel Llong, only empowered to rule if the catch was fair. He did that and Ponting, whose highest Test score at Lord’s is 42, had to go even though replays suggested he’d hit his pad with the bat and not the ball.

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