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    July 22, 2005

    Ashes focus: Lord's test - Day 2

    England are in a fair amount of trouble on day two at Lord's. While their tailenders managed to add valuable runs with Pietersen to 155 after a disastrous last session yesterday when they managed to recover from 21/5 to 92/7, their bowlers have been unable to have the same impact they did yesterday.

    I haven't found enough time to compile a list of reports/analyses/columns in the English and Australian media about yesterday's play but you can get to those newspapers/sites through the links on the right navigation bar. Come on, please dont be lazy!

    Australia's top order, excluding Langer, have cashed in on some poor bowling, and the lead is currently 278 with seven second innings wickets in hand. Michael Clarke and Damien Martyn have put on 135 at around 4 runs an over, with Clarke all set to get his first test century since November last year. If he does get there, he'd have made a century on debut away, a century in his first home test and a century in his first Ashes test. Although the wicket seems a lot better than it was yesterday, chasing anything over 350 will always be a problem for England given the enormous pressure they will be under, not having won against Australia at Lord's for 71 years now and the fact that they will be desperate to go one-up after the first test.

    Langer got out early and for a while Hayden and Ponting seemed to be in control of the proceedings. Hayden got out when he at last seemed to be in control of his batting, a pull shot not working ok and the ball going off the inside edge onto his stumps. Ponting and Martyn nearly put on fifty runs but Ponting was given a thorough working over by Hoggard and he ultimately patted a ball straight to point. Then Clarke and Martyn came together. But Pietersen's horrible show in the field continued when he put down his third (by my count) catch of the game. This could prove really costly.

    His batting though was primarily responsible for England recovering from 21/5 to 155. McGrath was unable to make much of an impact today and Pietersen in fact hit him around the place to get to his half-century, on test debut. After he got out, Simon Jones and Steve Harmison hung around and added nearly 30 runs which meant that Australia were ruing having let England get past 150 when they should really have bowled them out for less than 100.

    I think Australia's best bet is to post 400, given that Katich and Gilchrist are still to bat and ask England to get 450 in the final innings. That is almost certainly going to be well beyond England's reach.

    I dont know if I will be able to update this page during the weekend though. In that case, lets meet again on Monday with Australia either all set to go 1-0 up or actually 1-0 up!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 9:40 PM |
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    You know, if Harmy and Flintoff can blow the tail away tommorow for not very much, then England have 2 days and a bit to get 350-odd. And that will set up the game brilliantly. I hope we do get to see Freddie or Vaughan play a big one. This first test deserves a close finish.

    By Anonymous Ashwin Ramachandran (23-Jul-2005, 8:13:00 AM)  

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