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By Abhijit Banare
Dec 15, 2013
England dropped their chances to fight their way back in the game and paid a heavy price for it. Warner in particular survived twice. On both occasion it was a stumping chance missed by Matt Prior behind the wicket off Graeme Swann’s bowling. Prior had a tough day behind the stumps.
It was a forgettable day for England as Australia dominated them throughout the day. From being bowled out for 251 to being taken apart by Warner, England never looked like threatening. Stuart’s Broad’s unavailability for bowling due to a bruised foot further reduced their bowling options.
Full credit to Warner and Rogers, who made most of the dropped chances to punish the visitors. In the absence of Broad, Cook brought in Tim Bresnan to share the new ball with James Anderson. The openers were watchful initially but there wasn’t much challenge to stop Warner from playing his natural game. By the time Australia went in to tea, they had an overall lead of 257. With two days and a session remaining, Australia were playing their second innings under absolutely no pressure. In the last session the pair kept going at a brisk rate. England managed to secure a breakthrough when Rogers attempted a casual cut shot and found Michael Carberry at point out for 54.
In the next over, Warner brought his fifth Test ton and second in the series. It has been a complete turnaround for the aggressive batsman returning to scoring runs after being in the news for off-field reasons for a while. He was finally dismissed for 112 trying to loft Swann for a maximum.
By the time Warner got out, the lead was past 300. Shane Watson and Michael Clarke then scored at a sedate pace grinding England out under the soaring heat at Perth. While Warner kept the heat up on the visitors, the Clarke-Watson partnership was like an anti-climax. Towards the end of the day, Ben Stokes managed to get one through Clarke’s defense bowling him for 23.
In the absence of Broad, Anderson was bowling with an intensive look. Yet Cook would have missed the services of Broad who adds enormous value having that extra pace. And he has been the only impressive pacer so far on this tour.
Australia overall played aggressive cricket and reaped the benefits as England crumbled under pressure. Starting with the 134-run lead, the Aussies only extended their advantage and are placed comfortably in this Test. Will be interesting to see what target Clarke prefers to set. In terms of past record, this was the same venue where South Africa chased 414 in December 2008. So one can be sure Clarke would set a target beyond that.
Australia 385 (David Warner 60, Steve Smith 111, Brad Haddin 55; Stuart Broad 3 for 100, James Anderson 2 for 60) and 235 for 3 (David Warner 112, Chris Rogers 54) lead England 251 (Alastair Cook 72, Michael Carberry 43; Ryan Harris 3 for 48, Peter Siddle 3 for 46) by 369 runs.
(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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