The Ashes: High 5 for Swann, low blow for Australia


England off-spinner Graeme Swann dominated a bizarre second day of the second Ashes test with 5-44 as Australia was bundled out for just 128 at Lord's on Friday.

But just as the tourists appeared to be heading towards a second straight defeat in the five-match series, fast bowler Peter Siddle led a spirited fightback with the wickets of Alastair Cook (8), Jonathan Trott (0) and Kevin Pietersen (5) as England was reduced to 31-3 at stumps. Siddle was 3-4 from five overs.

Joe Root was 18 not out and nightwatchman Tim Bresnan was yet to score. Root had also enjoyed some fortune when he edged Shane Watson between wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and first slip Michael Clarke when on 8. Seemingly, Haddin should have attempted a routine catch. England, which racked up 361 in its first innings, still led by 264 runs because of its significant first innings lead. Australia lost the first test by 14 runs in Nottingham.

The pitch offered considerable turn for Swann but in hot and sunny weather on a dry and flat surface, conditions still favoured batting despite 16 wickets falling in the day, as celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Russell Crowe, David Cameron and Elizabeth Hurley watched from the sidelines.

Cook and Trott each played on to Siddle, while the unpredictable Pietersen played a casual, loose drive to Chris Rogers at point just 20 minutes from the close to give the Australians some cheer at the end of what had been a bitterly disappointing day for them. Australia's demise began with the fall of Watson for a top score 30, to the last ball before lunch. He was lbw to Bresnan and wasted one of his team's two reviews in the process.

Rogers, playing on his home ground and where he is captain of county team Middlesex, was lbw to Swann for 15, though in farcical circumstances. Swann bowled an ugly waist-high full-toss which the left-hander tried to pull towards the Tavern Stand only to miss his connection and be struck in the mid-rift.

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