• Wednesday, April 16, 2014

England find their groove at last

Afp, Melbourne

England strangled Australia's batting to seize control of the fourth Ashes Test on a low-scoring second day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.
The beleaguered tourists, with the Ashes already lost, boosted their chances of averting a 5-0 series clean sweep with a rare rewarding day in the field as they defended what had appeared to be a below-par first innings total of 255.
But disciplined bowling and fielding stifled Australia's scoring and with it the wickets tumbled to put the home side under pressure on a slow-paced MCG pitch.
At the close, Australia were 164 for nine, trailing England by 91 runs with Brad Haddin on an unbeaten 43.
England were restricted in their first innings by a hostile spell from Mitchell Johnson, but the Australians also laboured for runs with veteran opener Chris Rogers crawling to his third half-century of the series and wicketkeeper Haddin again defying England.
Captain Alastair Cook's tactics of drying up the runs reaped rewards with the cheap dismissals of David Warner (9), Shane Watson (10), Michael Clarke (10), Steve Smith (19), George Bailey (0), Johnson (2), Ryan Harris (6) and Peter Siddle (0).

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last modified: 10:02 pm Saturday, December 28, 2013

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