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Smell of Englishman gets Siddle fired up
Peter Siddle removes Kevin Pietersen. Pic: Reuters

Peter Siddle may be a vegetarian amid a pack of voracious carnivores but he is still excited by the smell of blood.

In his case, Kevin Pietersen's blood.

The key to the England top order, whose previous visits to Adelaide Oval brought scores of 158 and 227, Pietersen has been unlocked by the tireless Australian seamer.

Siddle claimed him for the ninth time yesterday - making him Pietersen's greatest Test nemesis - with the pivotal wicket in Australia's bid to secure the second Test.

"I love the challenge of bowling to a player of his experience and talent," Siddle said after bowling Pietersen for 53.

"He has been a star player in Test cricket."

By the simple measure of maintaining a disciplined line just outside off stump and banging the ball into a length or slightly shorter, Siddle has become Pietersen's greatest threat.

Pietersen took the seamer on in the first innings but perished when he could not thread the needle between two catchers at midwicket.

He was less culpable in the second innings but contributed to his own downfall by dragging a defensive stroke back on to his stumps.

"I try to keep it patient and keep it in the right areas but I have been lucky with a few chop-ons too," Siddle admitted.

Siddle has claimed Pietersen's wicket five times in their past 14 meetings.

Proof that umpire Kumar Dharmasena does not watch for no balls came when he waited for the replay of the Pietersen dismissal which showed nearly all of Siddle's front foot behind the popping crease.

Umpires are becoming increasingly obsolete at Test level.

Television replays decide most contentious decisions, the six balls in each over are counted down on the scoreboard and no balls are mostly only checked after a wicket falls.

Michael Clarke declared at the overnight score of 3-132, denying David Warner the opportunity for a second consecutive Ashes century but maximising the overs available to press for victory.

The timing of the decision may have been designed to surprise England, with Johnson announcing the night before that Australia would bat until lunch to further "cook" their opponents, but the fact that the paceman and his cohort were warming up 30 minutes before play probably gave the game away.

Australia were soon on top when both openers were sent back after being caught on the leg-side fence, but they had to battle hard for their remaining four wickets.

Pietersen relished Steve Smith's part-time leg-spinners, dispatching three ordinary deliveries into the crowd, including the off drive to bring up his half century, but the occasional flourishes were out of keeping with the task of batting for 180 overs to save the game.

Clarke's Midas touch was evident when he used Shane Watson briefly in the first innings and was rewarded with Michael Carberry's wicket, while Smith was brought back to bowl against Ian Bell and promptly brought a fatal mishit from the in-form batsman.

Clarke's decision-making in this match has been as sharp and effective as his batting and has played a significant factor in his team's dominant performance.

Ryan Harris was used sparingly during the day with spells of four overs before lunch and five after it.

His lack of success appeared to frustrate him, with an errant throw back to the keeper flying away for four overthrows, though he was ferocious with the second new ball and finally drew an edge from combative debutant Ben Stokes.

"I try to keep it patient and … in the right areas but I have been lucky with a few chop-ons too."" *Peter Siddle *