England is in a dominant position at stumps on day two of the fourth test at the MCG after finally making the most of a strong position.
After being dismissed for 255 earlier in the day when Mitchell Johnson again produced a blistering spell, the visitors didn’t allow Australia’s big names to get set at the crease. The home team is 9-164 at stumps after losing Peter Siddle for a duck from the final ball of the day.
David Warner (nine), Shane Watson (10), Michael Clarke (10), Steve Smith (19) and George Bailey (0) were all dismissed cheaply to place pressure on the lower order.
Chris Rogers batted patiently all day and recovered from a blow to the head to score 61 before playing a sloppy shot that cost him his wicket.
Mitchell Johnson managed two and got dropped during his innings. Then Ryan Harris didn’t handle a ball directed at his body and defended it straight to Joe Root at short leg.
Brad Haddin is Australia’s key hope of either getting close to England’s first innings total or opening up a lead tomorrow.
He attacked from the start of his innings and has scored 43 from 49 balls.
Haddin was given out LBW to Monty Panesar while on 35 but called for a video review and it showed the ball would narrowly have missed leg stump.
England bowled well all day with Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad both claiming three wickets each.
Earlier in the day, Mitchell Johnson was again at his menacing best.
Bowling the second over of the day, Johnson removed Bresnan with a brutal short ball.
The number eight batsman tried to defend it but gloved the ball high and George Bailey made ground at short leg before diving to send him on his way for one.
Johnson then earned the prized wicket of Pietersen in the same over for 71. Pietersen attempted to swipe the ball through mid wicket, but the reckless stroke proved costly as the ball cannoned into the stumps.
He also made a late decision to withdraw from a pull shot from Johnson.
Johnson achieved his third five wicket haul of the series when he trapped Stuart Broad LBW for 11, giving him figures of 3-1 to open his spell.
Broad entered the match under an injury cloud after Johnson crunched a ball into his foot in Perth, and the ball which dismissed him today was almost a carbon copy.
Johnson has now taken 28 wickets for the series – 14 more than any other bowler. His four over spell this morning yielded him 3-4 and gave him figures of 5-63 from 24 overs for the innings.
A huge 78,346 people again packed the MCG after more than 91,000 set a world record for a test attendance yesterday.