Broad sparks Australian collapse
LONDON: Stuart Broad revived England's hopes of Ashes glory with a sensational five-wicket burst on the second day of the decisive fifth Test at the Oval here today.
Australia at tea were 133-8 in reply to England's first innings 332 -- a deficit of 199 runs -- after Broad had taken five wickets to remove Shane Watson, skipper Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin. Off-spinner Graeme Swann chipped in with three wickets, including the scalp of opener Simon Katich (50).
In total Australia -- who had been 73 without loss -- lost eight wickets for 58 runs in an extraordinary second session. Peter Siddle was 10 not out and fellow tailender Stuart Clark one not out at tea with Broad boasting figures of 5-37.
There was little hint that Broad was about to wreak such havoc upon the Australia top-order in a match England, with the series all square at 1-1, had to win to regain the Ashes and one which the visitors needed only to draw to retain them. Broad was the fifth bowler summoned by England captain Andrew Strauss
after the likes of James
Anderson, Andrew Flintoff and Stephen Harmison
had all gone wicketless on a pitch where Swann had extracted turn.
Australia were 66-0 off 22 overs when Broad came on for the first full over after rain had delayed play after lunch by 50 minutes. Broad struck with his sixth ball when Watson (34), trapped LBW. Broad then saw Australia captain Ponting (eight) playing a full length ball onto the stumps.
Left-hander Hussey (naught) was then undone by an inswinger and was trapped leg before wicket. Australia vice-captain Clarke could only manage three before he was well caught off Broad by debutant Jonathan Trott at short extra-cover. Australia were now 93-4 and their collapse continued when Marcus North (eight) was LBW to Swann.
No sooner had left-handed opener Katich completed a 106-ball fifty, he gave a bat-pad catch off Swann to Alastair Cook at short leg. Broad then claimed the third five-wicket haul of his 22-Test career when he bowled Haddin with a beauty that hit the middle and off stumps.
Mitchell Johnson fell next, well caught by wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Swann before Australia made sure they at least avoided the follow-on. Flintoff, controversially left out of the side that lost the fourth Test by an innings and 80 runs at Headingley because of fears his suspect right knee would not stand the strain of fast bowling, showed no discomfort after being handed the new ball in what was his final Test before an injury-induced retirement.