England on top after late strikes
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Edgbaston, Birmingham
Scorecard:England v Australia
Player:A Flintoff, SCJ Broad, BW Hilfenhaus
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 2nd August 2009


England took an overall lead of 113 and then took two crucial wickets to puncture a hole into the Australian team's third Tests hopes.


Earlier in the morning after the game started after an hours delay, Ben Hilfenhaus entangled English batsmen with a quality hour of swing bowling and made sure Australia had something to cheer. The right-arm medium-pacer took full advantage of the heavy overhead conditions and made the ball move both ways which offered little respite to English batsmen.


Play began with both Ian Bell and Strauss looking in good touch. Strauss looked more authoritative between the two and looked good for his second century in as many Tests. He though fell attempting to cut too close to his body to a Hilfenhaus delivery which was accepted by Graham Manou.


After Strauss, Collingwood fell as he loosely drove an away-swinging delivery that was accepted at shoulder-height by Ponting at second slip. Not only Hilfenhaus and Siddle, Mitchell Johnson also looked good in his brief spell and had it not been for a slight inside edge, he could have sent back a good looking Bell to the pavilion.


Johnson though didn't allowed Bell (53) take any liberties with that escape. He bowled another inswinger just after lunch and this time Bell fell prey to it. Johnson looked as something close to what he was supposedly hyped as before touching English shores.


This wicket brought in Andrew Flintoff who considers Edgbaston as one of his favourite places to play both with the bat and the ball. He alongside Matt Prior launched a counter attack against an Aussie attack which had looked dominating till since the morning. The duo added 89 runs in 15.3 overs after which Prior fell to a short ball which he pulled but could only mistime and find Phil Hughes at mid-on.


Flintoff though carried on from the other end. He hit Nathan Hauritz for a six and a four in the very next over to bring up his half-century and also England's lead in the first innings. Flintoff was looking good for more when he gloved a catch off Hauritz. Stuart Broad threw his bat around as he was able to take the lead past the hundred run mark. Broad's resistance ended when he spooned a return catch the way of Peter Siddle for a well-struck 55.


Australia in reply batted for 28 overs scoring 88 runs but lost two crucial wickets in their second innings. Onions and Swann were able the wicket-takers. Katich was gone when he tried to drive Onions through the off side. The ball took the outside edge and Prior took the offering. Ponting was undone by a beautiful piece of spin bowling from Swann. The ball drew Ponting forward dipped before him sharply, spun through the bat and pad gate to clean him up. Watson and an intense looking Hussey made sure that they did not lose any more wickets till close.



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