By Shrikant Shankar
Dec 27, 2013
Australia are at 96 for three at tea on Day Two in their first innings of the fourth Ashes 2013-14 Test against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on December 27, 2013. They trail England by 159 runs. Chris Rogers has scored his fifth half-century and is batting on 50. Steven Smith is on 14.
The afternoon session began with Australia at 38 for two after bowling England out for 255 early on Day Two. Michael Clarke played the first delivery after lunch for a two runs with an on-drive off Stuart Broad. Ben Stokes bowled a couple of maiden overs to Rogers and Clarke.
Broad then bowled a back of a length delivery and Rogers tried to duck underneath the ball thinking it might be shorter than it was. The ball hit him flush on the side of the helmet near his right ear.
Most of the England players and Clarke surrounded Rogers as the team physio gave him some treatment. It was only after a few minutes that Rogers was ready to play.
There was a cut on the cheek and a medical tape had been put there. Before the hit, Rogers was playing within himself, but afterwards he played much better playing some very good shots.
The batsmen were running quite well between the wickets as Clarke and Rogers got a couple of threes on consecutive deliveries off Stokes. Rogers then got two runs off Broad straight down the ground. Then he played a straight delivery behind square on the leg side for a single. That brought up Australia’s 50 in the first innings.
Rogers played a brilliant straight drive for four off Tim Bresnan. James Anderson then bowled Clarke out for 10 off 34 balls. The ball pitched outside the line of off-stump and came in off the track. Clarke offered no stroke and the ball clipped the bails.
Smith was the new batsman in and he got off the mark with a four behind square on the leg side off Anderson. Rogers then played a beautiful cover drive to a full delivery from Bresnan to get another four.
England tried bowling short deliveries at Rogers, but he employed a jab shot a couple of times and got a few twos. Stokes then bowled a full delivery on the leg side and Rogers glanced it away for a four towards deep square-leg.
Bresnan bowled a short delivery and Smith pulled it to mid-wicket. Anderson dived in the air to his right and attempted a one-handed catch, but dropped a tough chance.
After a spell of a few quiet overs, Rogers finally got his fifth Test half-century with a quick single off Panesar towards extra-cover. Tea was soon taken and Australia trailed England by only 159 runs.
England 255 (Alastair Cook 27, Michael Carberry 38, Kevin Pietersen 71; Mitchell Johnson 5 for 63, Ryan Harris 2 for 47) lead Australia 96 for 3 (Chris Rogers 50*; James Anderson 2 for 32) by 159 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)
Also on cricketcountry.com