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Ashes 2013-14: Alastair Cook unbeaten on 42 as England post 91/2 at tea on Day 2

Alastair Cook remained solid before tea © Getty Images
Alastair Cook remained solid unbeaten on 42 at tea © Getty Images

By Abhijit Banare

 

Dec 14, 2013

 

Australia bagged two wickets towards the end of second session after England put on a solid opening stand on Day Two of the third Test at Perth. England went in to tea at 91 for two with skipper Alastair Cook unbeaten on 42.

 

England were cruising along comfortably with a solid 85-run opening partnership between Cook and Michael Carberry before Carberry was out for 43. Towards the end of the session, Shane Watson struck with a crucial wicket of Joe Root for four. Root was however disappointed as the Decision Review System (DRS) didn’t find conclusive evidence that he had edged the ball.

 

The openers looked determined right from the start and adopted a guarded approach early on. Both the batsmen survived close calls as the Australian pacers yet again bowled a probing line to keep the batsmen in check. They had faced six overs before lunch and were watchful. Carberry was tested with bouncers from Mitchell Johnson but the opener was unperturbed. He was also lucky to survive after offering two tough catches. On one occasion he miscued a pull which was in the air for a long time. Brad Haddin running to his right failed to cover enough ground. Carberry was also careful not to play hard at the defensive pushes which led to the ball dropping short of slip fielders.

 

By the 15th over, the pressure had eased up considerably. Shane Watson’s bowling inserted some confidence in the batsmen as they scored some runs off him. Even Nathan Lyon proved ineffective as Carberry came down the track in his first over and lofted Lyon for a six.

 

For a long time, England were deprived of a solid opening stand. Carberry and Cook gave an indication that they can surely go past Australia’s 385. There were no demons in the pitch. The partnership was finally broken by Ryan Harris. Carberry was to be blamed for the poor shot. Harris coming round the wicket got the ball in to the batsman. Carberry was tentative wanting to leave the ball but held his bat in the air and the ball took the inside edge and crashed into the off-stump. Joe Root walked in at No 3.

 

In the meanwhile, Cook preferred to be watchful. He did play some attractive drives and pull shots but avoided taking chances against Johnson. England suffered the big jolt a few overs before tea, when Root was given out to a controversial DRS call. Watson appealed for a caught behind and umpire Marais Erasmus adjudged Root out. Root immediately called for a review. After hotspot failed to detect any edge, the third umpire Tony Hill looked at the snicko. Though there was a faint disturbance, it wasn’t in sync with the ball and bat. Erasmus eventually upheld the appeal.

 

As the day passed the zip in the pitch as seen early in the morning faded away and the openers started going for their strokes. The odd ball kept moving but overall the conditions were perfect for batting. It would have been England’s session if Root was still on, but the loss of second wicket has pulled back the visitors.

 

Brief scores:

 

Australia 385 (David Warner 60, Steve Smith 111, Brad Haddin 55; Stuart Broad 3 for 100, James Anderson 2 for 60) lead England 91 for 2 (Alastair Cook 42*, Michael Carberry 43) by 294 runs.

 

Full Scorecard

 

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(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

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