By Shrikant Shankar
Dec 5, 2013
England struck thrice in quick succession as Australia are at 174 for four at tea on Day One of the second Ashes 2013-14 Test at the Adelaide Oval. Chris Rogers (72) and Shane Watson (51) shared a 121-run partnership for the third wicket.
The session began with Australia’s score at 46 for one. Rogers hit a length delivery from Anderson through cover-point for a four. That brought up the 50 for Australia. He then pushed forward and hit one off Swann for a four through point.
As the batsmen settled in, the ones and twos came a bit more often. After multiple rain delays, the sun was shining brightly over the Adelaide Oval.
Monty Panesar was brought into the attack and he bowled a good tight first over giving one run away. Graeme Swann and Panesar then started bowling at tandem. Watson then charged at Swann and hit one straight over the bowler’s head for a four.
There was a big appeal for LBW against Rogers. Panesar bowled one just outside off-stump and the ball spun into Rogers, who was rooted to his crease and missed. The ball hit the pads and all the England players close to the bat went up in appeal.
The umpire said not out but captain Alastair Cook asked for the review. Hawk-Eye showed that the ball would have hit the top of leg-stump, but it was on marginal lines and the third umpire ruled that it would be the on-field umpire’s call. So, the verdict was not out.
After that, both the spinners bowled some poor deliveries and the batsmen struck quite a few fours. Debutant Ben Stokes was finally brought into bowl and his second ball was full and Watson treated it with a drive past mid-off for a four.
After England bowled three maiden overs in-a-row, Watson came down the track and lofted Panesar for a six straight down the ground. Stokes then drifted one onto Rogers’s pads and he whipped it away for a four through mid-wicket.
Stokes then bowled a wide delivery and Rogers smacked that for a four in front of point. Stokes then clipped the stumps at the non-striker’s end and the umpire called it as a no-ball. Rogers guided that in-between the slips and the gully for a four.
Rogers got to his third Test half-century with a four off Stuart Broad through point. Watson too was finding the fours at will as the partnership raced past the 100-run mark.
Watson then got to his 21st Test half-century with a single through mid-wicket off Swann. James Anderson then bowled one full to Rogers and the batsman drove delightfully through cover to get a four.
But England struck quickly. Watson hit one straight back to Anderson and was dismissed for 51. Next over, Swann found the edge of Rogers’s bat and Matt Prior took the catch behind the wickets. He was dismissed for 72.
In the last over before tea, Panesar breached Steven Smith’s defence and bowled him for six. Michael Clarke was batting on nine.
Australia 174 for 4 (Chris Rogers 72, Shane Watson 51; Monty Panesar 1 for 30) vs England.
(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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