Anderson strikes put Aussies in trouble

LONDON: James Anderson starred with both bat and ball on the second day of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s here on Friday.

England, with swing bowler Anderson taking both wickets, had reduced Australia to 22-2 at lunch. But more than an hour’s play was lost to rain in the second session and at tea Australia were 87-2 in reply to England’s first innings 425.

When bad light stopped play, the tourists were reeling at 156-8. Anderson had Phillp Hughes caught behind and then Australia captain Ricky Ponting fell to him for just two runs. That left Australia, unbeaten in Lord’s Tests for 75 years, 10-2.

Hughes had made just four when he glanced at Anderson and was caught down by Matt Prior. Umpire Rudi Koertzen is known for taking his time but, even by the South African’s standards, this was a ‘slow death’.

Ponting was vulnerable to the well-pitched up delivery early in his innings when hitting across the line. Anderson produced a ball that had Ponting falling over across his stumps and appealed for what seemed lbw.

But the ball carried to England captain Andrew Strauss at first slip. The umpires referred the appeal to third umpire Nigel Llong, who was only empowered to rule on whether the ball had been caught cleanly. He did that and Ponting had to go even though replays suggested he might not have hit the ball. Anderson also dismissed Micaael Clarke (1) and M North (0) to finish the day with 4-37 in 17 overs. Stuart Broad took two, while Graham Onions and Andrew Flintoff claimed one wicket.

Earlier, England’s total owed much to Anderson’s last-wicket stand of 47 with Graham Onions (17 not out). Left-hand bat but right-arm bowler Anderson had proved a thorn in Australia’s side when batting in a defensive fashion alongside Monty Panesar to deny the Ashes holders the wicket they needed for victory last week in Cardiff. But here he played shots in an innings of 29, including five fours.

Ben Hilfenhaus, who led the Australia attack with Test-best figures of 4-103, bowled Strauss second ball on Friday for his overnight 161 as the opener shouldered arms. That sparked a slump that saw England lose three wickets for 14 runs in 18 balls. Johnson finally had his revenge when he got Anderson to steer him to Michael Hussey in the gully. However, England ought to have been well past 400 on the first day after Strauss and Alastair Cook (95) shared an opening stand of 196.