The Ashes: Bowlers put England ahead

Michael ClarkeEngland celebrate after taking the wicket of Australia's captain Michael Clarke during the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (Reuters)

A resurgent England attack tore through Australia's batting lineup with six wickets in the final session to leave the hosts reeling at 164 for nine at the close of the second day of the fourth Ashes Test on Friday.

Bowled out for what seemed a paltry 255 in the morning, the tourists hit back through their seamers in the afternoon with Stuart Broad and James Anderson capturing three wickets apiece.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, fighting another desperate rearguard action, was 43 not out at stumps, with number 11 batsman Nathan Lyon yet to face a ball and Australia trailing by 91 runs.

Having restricted the hosts to 96-3 at tea with bowling of the highest discipline, England's seamers turned the screws in the final session in bright sunshine and in front of a mostly stunned crowd of over 78,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

After hanging around for 95 minutes and 77 balls for his 19 runs, Steven Smith was the first to succumb when he flashed a frustrated cut shot that sent an edge flying to Ian Bell at second slip.

The wicket broke a 48-run partnership and sparked a collapse as Rogers promptly threw away his wicket for 61 after nearly four hours of painstaking graft.

The 36-year-old had shown great poise, raising his third half-century of the series shortly before tea after being struck in the helmet by a Stuart Broad delivery that left him bleeding from his temple.

But his attempted slog over mid-on off Bresnan found only Kevin Pietersen charging to his right and smacked of pressure.

One-day specialist George Bailey never appeared comfortable in the role of rescuer and followed soon after, caught behind by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow off Anderson for a 19-ball duck.

Umpire Aleem Dar turned down the appeal, but the 'snicko' technology suggested a faint noise which was good enough for third umpire Billy Bowden to award the wicket, prompting indignant jeers from the crowd.

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