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England fight back with quick wickets
England fight back with quick wickets

England exposed Australia’s brittle top order to clamber their way back into the Ashes series.

Written off after being crushed in the first Test at the Gabba, England’s selection and perseverance brought superb rewards on the first day of the second Test.

Monty Panesar ended a four-year Ashes absence in England’s remade attack that exposed Australia’s vulnerability to high-quality spin.

The subject of a Twitter controversy before play started, Panesar only claimed one wicket but got enough sharp turn to suggest that the Adelaide Oval drop-in pitch will not just be a batting paradise.

Only a few days after forcing a ground announcer in Alice Springs to quit over his comments when introducing Panesar to the bowling crease, Cricket Australia apologised for using its Twitter account to display four men portrayed as Sikhs in fancy dress and ask its followers to identify which one was the spinner.

Australia’s tenuous position at 5-273 could have been significantly worse too had Panesar claimed Brad Haddin (seven not out) just before stumps when Michael Carberry dropped a straightforward catch at backward point.

Michael Clarke was also dropped at 18 when he clipped fellow spinner Graeme Swann to midwicket but survived that chance and a tight run out at the non-striker’s end to reach 48 not out.

The Australian captain has scored double centuries in his past two visits to the ground and will be required to add another substantial total if his team is to maintain control of the match.