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By Shrikant Shankar
Dec 7, 2013
Australia took a step closer to winning the second Ashes 2013-14 Test with another dominant display on Day Three at the Adelaide Oval. Australia were at 132 for three in their second innings at stumps. David Warner was batting on 83 and Steven Smith was on 23 at the close of play.
Mitchell Johnson was again the star for Australia as he picked up a total of seven wickets in England’s first innings. He was twice on a hat-trick, but could not complete the milestone in either occasion.
The post-tea session began with Australia’s second innings after Michael Clarke opted to bat again after England were bowled out for 172. Chris Rogers and Warner opened the batting for Australia. James Anderson began proceedings for England.
Rogers got off the mark straight away as he poked at one outside off-stump and edged it past gully for two runs. Warner got off the mark with a single towards deep square-leg off Stuart Broad. Rogers then edged an away swinging length delivery from Anderson to Matt Prior behind the wickets.
Two balls later, Shane Watson reached onto a wide delivery from Anderson and hit it straight to Michael Carberry at point. Australia lost two wickets for only four runs. At that time, England looked like brining in a mini-revival despite being well behind in the match. But Warner and Clarke put together a 61-run partnership to dampen English spirits.
Warner punched one from Broad in front of square on the off side for a four. Clarke then got off the mark with a four towards the mid-wicket region off Broad.
After a few overs in which England kept a lid on the scoring-rate, a little pressure was relieved Graeme Swann tossed up a delivery at Warner and he hit through extra-cover for four.
Warner then slog-swept Swann against the turn for a big six over mid-wicket. Stokes dragged one slightly short and Clarke pulled it in front of mid-wicket for a four. Warner then played an inside-out shot over covers for a four off Swann.
Monty Panesar then bowled Clarke with an absolutely brilliant delivery. He came from round the wicket and pitched the ball on the middle-stump line and made it turn away. The ball kissed the edge off Clarke’s bat and knocked off-stump.
Warner, though, did not cease to play his shots as he drove a length delivery from Panesar through cover-point for a four. Warner cut a length delivery and Kevin Pietersen misfielded at point and the ball raced away for a four to get to his ninth Test half-century. He then cut another delivery through mid-wicket for another four.
Smith also got himself in on the act as he cut a wide delivery from Anderson for a four behind point. Anderson then bowled a fantastic in-swinger and Smith offered no shot as the ball hit his pads. The England players appealed and the umpire raised his finger.
The ball hit the pads outside the line of off-stump, but Smith did not play any shot. He asked for the review and the replays showed that the ball would have just missed the off-stump. So, the decision was overturned.
Smith came down the ground to Panesar and hit the ball over the bowler’s head for a four. Warner was just about hitting everything as he pulled a short delivery from Broad through mid-wicket for a four.
Warner thumped one straight back over Ben Stokes for a four. Panesar gave some width to Warner and he cut hard to get a four through point. Stumps were called as Australia led England by a massive 530-run margin. Warner remained unbeaten and 17 runs short of another century in this Ashes series.
Australia 570 for 9 decl. (Chris Rogers 72, Michael Clarke 148, Brad Haddin 118; Stuart Broad 3 for 98) and 132 for 3 (David Warner 83*; James Anderson 2 for 19) lead England 172 (Michael Carberry 60, Ian Bell 72*; Mitchell Johnson 7 for 40) by 530 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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