articles and blog
2009 Ashes - Second Test at Lord's
Category: Cricket. Published: 21 Jul 2009
England batted well, taking advantage of one of the worst bowling and fielding performances I've ever seen from Australia. Johnson taking the first wicket with the score on 196 -- the first time he put a ball on the stumps it shocked Cook so much that he missed it and was out LBW -- Johnson was going for 7 runs per over at that stage. Hilfenhaus bowled very well -- very clever bowling to get Bopara, with a string of out-swingers outside off stump followed by a straight ball on the stumps. Hauritz went off with a dislocated finger caused when he dropped a hard-hit return drive from Strauss. North replaced Hauritz and struggled to get the ball anywhere near the stumps.
Australia's fielding was sloppy, with mis-fields, overthrows and dropped catches (Hauritz should have taken Strauss, Hussey didn't get his hand on a chance at gully, Haddin dropped a catch off a no-ball from Hilfenhaus). Haddin's keeping was ordinary with 15 byes and general uncleanliness behind the stumps. Even Ponting mis-fielded, as well as missing a possible run out that went for 4 overthrows.
Through it all Strauss batted well to finish the day unbeaten on 161, with his opening partnership with Cook being the highest for England against Australia at Lord's.
Slept through most of the last session and missed the last three wickets.
The second day started much better for Australia, but finished a lot worse. Strauss was bowled second ball, not playing at a swinging delivery from Hilfenhaus. Siddle then had Swann caught in the slips and Hilfenhaus bowled Broad. But then it all went wrong -- Siddle had to leave the field, Johnson took over and the run rate increased with the last pair of Anderson and Onions putting on a record last wicket partnership for England v Australia at Lord's. A record first wicket partnership, a record last wicket partnership, and not much in between. Hilfenhaus was by far the best bowler and took 4 wickets -- Johnson bowled rubbish from start to finish and took 3 wickets. The game's not fair.
Australia's innings started poorly and just got worse. Hughes was caught behind down the leg-side then Ponting was given out caught even though he didn't hit it -- but if he didn't hit then he was probably LBW anyway. This was followed by a good partnership between Katich and Hussey before a middle order collapse. The bowling from England was good, but most batsmen were out to bad shots, not good bowling. England's attack looks much better with Flintoff given first use. Anderson bowled much better than he did in the first Test, Onions looked alright, Broad looked ordinary again and Swann only bowled one over.
Siddle and Hauritz batted well to almost avoid the follow-on, which was irrelevant as Strauss decided to bat again anyway. There was a time in Test cricket where avoiding the follow-on was something that teams were desperate to do, and enforcing the follow-on was seen as a sign on being of top of a team and wanting to grind them into the dirt. Now it's becoming almost irrelevant with the poor, overworked bowlers seen to be needing a break and unable to bowl teams out twice in a row.
England's second innings started the same way it did in the first, with Johnson bowling rubbish and Strauss and Cook helping themselves. Hauritz then came on, took two wickets in two overs with very good bowling and was immediately taken off. He then came back later and took another wicket almost immediately. There was perhaps a good argument for initially taking him off when Bopara and Pietersen came in, but he was left out of the attack for too long. His dislocated finger didn't appear to be causing too many problems and he was the pick of the bowlers.
Siddle also bowled well, taking two wickets and could have had more, with Ponting dropping a sitter at slip after having missed a relatively easy run out.
Collingwood and particularly Prior batted well, increasing the run rate after Bopara and Pietersen struggled. Prior was unlucky to be run out with a direct hit from North on the boundary.
England declared, setting Australia 522 to win in two days. Easy!
Katich was given out, caught off a no ball. Hughes given out caught when the replay showed the ball most likely bounced. Hussey given out caught when he clearly didn't hit it. I don't like the use of technology in cricket, but the umpires seem determined to make it inevitable.
Clarke and Haddin batted well in a record sixth wicket partnership for Australia at Lord's - seems to be the Test for batting records to be broken.
Flintoff by far the best of England's bowlers.
Tomorrow will see another record -- either Australia scores a record fourth innings score to win, or England beats Australia at Lord's for the first time in 75 years -- my money's on England!
Haddin out very early, Clarke not long after. Game over. Johnson makes 50 but it doesn't make up for his very ordinary bowling. Flintoff takes 5 wickets and is player of the match.