Perth: The Englishmen did it again. They bowled out the Aussies for a mediocre 268 on Day 1 of the third Ashes Test at the WACA ground today. In reply to that, England was 29 without any loss of wickets at stumps with captain Andrew Strauss 12* & Alastair Cook 17* all set to resume play tomorrow on the second day of the 3rd Ashes encounter.
James Anderson and Chris Tremlett clinched 3 wickets each to send back the Australian top back to the pavilion after the English skipper had put the home team to bat first on a green pitch. The situation could have gone from bad to worse for Australia who already were on 69-5 just after lunch, but half tons from Michael Hussey, Haddin & Mitchell Johnson enabled the host nation to put up a decent total before being bowled out just half an hour before stumps on Thursday.
England is in a commanding position now to push for a victory that would see the visitors have a good command over this year’s Ashes, with the Australian bowlers struggling to take wickets in the first two Tests. Tremlett wasted no time in making an impact, bowling recalled Australian opener Phil Hughes for just 2 runs with the last ball of the first over, and then getting rid off the out-of-form batsman Michael Clarke caught behind for 4. He took 63-3 in 23 overs.
In between, James Anderson with bowling figures of 61-3 got rid of the Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting for 12 when he was brilliantly caught at third slip by Paul Collingwood, who flung himself to his right at third slip and held firm to a one-handed acrobatic catch.
Ponting, who just got 3 boundaries, hung his bat out at a James Anderson delivery,and another innings of this sort may increase pressure on the captain to keep his place in the team. Tremlett increased the visitor’s problems when he got rid off Steve Smith for just 2 runs in the second over after lunch.
Hussey and Haddin, who also batted Australia out of trouble in the first Test, and faced a similar situation on the final day of the second test counter-attacked effectively. Hussey hit one over the rope and 9 boundaries as he continued his great run with the bat. With other scores of 195, 93 and 52, he has been Australia’s only in form batsman of this Ashes.
Brad Haddin,the wicketkeeper batsman in form, added 52 runs for the 7th wicket with Johnson after Hussey departed before another brilliant slip catch ended Haddin’s 120 plus minutes knock.Earlier, opener Shane Watson, who stood for over an hour for his 13 runs from 40 balls, failed to have his lbw decision being overruled by the video review. He had an earlier reprieve when he was given out caught down the leg-side off James Anderson, but the on-field decision was overruled by 3rd umpire Aleem Dar.