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Ashes: Mitchell Johnson engineers England collapse

Fast show: Mitchell Johnson tore England apart with his 'demon bowling'. Picture: Getty

Fast show: Mitchell Johnson tore England apart with his 'demon bowling'. Picture: Getty

  • by DAVID CLOUGH
 

ENGLAND suffered another manic collapse to the searing pace of Mitchell Johnson as they were bowled out for 172 to leave hopes of somehow saving the second Test in tatters at the Adelaide Oval.

After the havoc he wrought on England in the first Test at the Gabba, there was no longer any true sense of shock as Johnson (seven for 40) replayed his ‘demon bowler’ role to devastating effect on day three here.

This time, the left-armer was even more irresistible as he took three wickets in one over - and two in two balls twice - and England fell apart - despite the impressive Ian Bell’s unbeaten 72 - from 111 for three to 135 for nine.

Johnson then returned and needed just two deliveries to clean-bowl number 11 Monty Panesar and end a determined last-wicket stand - after which Australia chose not to enforce the follow-on but bat again after tea to augment their first-innings 570 for nine declared.

It was only thanks to the serene Bell and a manful maiden half-century from Michael Carberry (60) that England mustered as many as they did.

Bell showed his world class with a defiant 74-ball 50 which he duly celebrated, in company with Panesar, with two more successive boundaries and then a six over cover in the same Ryan Harris over.

England still had feasible prospects on the resumption after lunch of making Australia work hard for their wickets.

But Johnson changed all that in the blink of an eye.

Ben Stokes got his first Test run with a scampered single off Nathan Lyon, but was then lbw after Australia’s DRS review was vindicated by simulation projecting a ball clattering into leg-stump.

Matt Prior’s miserable run of form continued with a four-ball duck, set up by two bouncers and then pushing forward at one angled across him to be caught-behind.

Stuart Broad’s golden duck was a protracted affair, only because he insisted on adjustments to the sightscreen at the Cathedral End involving a man with a ladder to eradicate sun glare.

The handiwork made no difference, because Broad then went across his stumps and was bowled round his legs by another 90mph-plus delivery.

Bell remained intact, at least, having led a morning counter-attack with Carberry after the early loss of Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen.

But Johnson was in the mood to finish the job this time, and soon had Graeme Swann edging a drive into the slips and then a hestitant James Anderson some way from the line of the ball when it rasped between his defensive bat and pad to knock out middle-stump.

Carberry and Bell had counter-attacked to significant effect for a time.

Bell dictated terms to off-spinner Lyon in particular, only for his partner to then grind to a halt against the miserly medium-pace of Shane Watson.

The consequence was terminal for Carberry, who spent 21 balls without scoring - with the total stuck on Nelson.

He then middled a pull at the final ball of a third successive maiden from Watson but was brilliantly caught low to his left by a diving David Warner at square leg.

Root and Carberry had negotiated Johnson and Ryan Harris’ initial spells on a sunny morning - but the new number three then paid for a faulty, pre-meditated slog-sweep at Lyon to the first ball he faced against him this morning.

After watching Brad Haddin sweep England to shreds on day two, it must have been especially frustrating for the young Yorkshireman to mistime off the upper edge of his cross bat straight to deep square-leg.

Pietersen made a century and a double-century here on the last two tours but this time he fell cheaply into a very obvious trap set by Peter Siddle when he whipped a length ball to one of two fielders posted for the catch at midwicket.

Bell was not compromised by the match situation, his second scoring shot the first of his four sixes - over long off up the wicket to Lyon - and then Carberry completed a richly-deserved 115-ball 50.

England’s resistance, however, was to be all too brief once Johnson began charging in again.

 

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