By Jaideep Vaidya
Jul 19, 2013
Graeme Swann’s three-for, coupled with some poor use of the controversial Decision Review System (DRS) from Australia resulted in the visitors slumping to 96 for seven at tea on Day Two of the Lord’s Test against England.
Just 54 runs were scored in the session by the Australians, who lost six wickets and surrendered control of the match to England. DRS was back to haunt Australia, who lost both their reviews within the space of three wickets on the day.
Skipper Michael Clarke, speaking after the nail-biting 14-run loss to England in the first Test at Trent Bridge, had said that his team needs to make more judicious use of the DRS system. Unfortunately for the Australians, they didn’t seem to learn from their mistakes as Shane Watson and Phil Hughes wasted the two available unsuccessful reviews.
Watson, who fell in the last over before the lunch break, used up the first one when Tim Bresnan struck him in front and was given out by the umpire. Watson was reluctant to walk away and asked Rogers for his opinion, before eventually deciding to review the decision. The third umpire, after consulting the technology, concurred with the on-field umpire’s decision and sent him packing.
Post lunch, Rogers, possibly affected by Watson’s dismissal, decided against reviewing an LBW decision that was shockingly given against him. The ball from Swann was flighted and tossed right up — a juicy full toss that is begging to be hit. Rogers swung the bat, looking to dispatch it over mid-wicket, but missed. The ball hit him on the front thigh in line with the leg-stump and the umpire raised the finger. However, the ball seemed to be heading down leg; Rogers wasn’t sure, and neither was his partner Usman Khawaja. Eventually, the batsman decided not to review it and walked off, before the replays confirmed that the ball would have missed leg stump.
Australia’s technological woes weren’t to end there, and possibly got shabbier, as Bresnan sneaked one past Phil Hughes’s bat and England went up in appeal. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena thought he heard something and pointed the finger. Hughes was however convinced he didn’t hit it and went for his team’s last remaining review instinctively. After several replays using Hot Spot, the third umpire concurred that Hughes had hit it, although there was no visible white spot of bat hitting ball.
It was a sucker punch for the Australians, one which they never recovered from. The tourists crashed from 53 for three at Hughes’s fall to 96 for seven, and went into the tea break a good 265 runs behind their opponents with just Brad Haddin and two tail wickets in hand.
Earlier, Ryan Harris picked up five wickets, helping Australia bowl England out for 361 in the morning session. Harris, who had figures of three for 28 overnight, added a fourth on the first ball of the morning as he got a full-length delivery to cut away from Tim Bresnan and take his edge, that carried to the wicketkeeper. Four overs later, nightwatchman James Anderson was to meet the same fate as he provided Harris his fifth wicket, thus getting the latter’s name on the Lord’s honours board.
However, from what looked like a strong possibility of 320 all out, the last wicket pairing of Stuart Broad and Swann stuck around and played their shots without fear. Last-wicket stands have been the standout feature of this series so far and the duo added 48 runs in just under seven overs before James Pattinson found Broad’s faint edge to wrap up the innings.
Watson and Rogers then started off cautiously, ticking just five runs from the first five overs. After judging and gauging the pitch and the England opening bowlers, Anderson and Broad, they began to open up. Watson, in particular, began going for his shots and scored six boundaries before lunch.
England 361 (Jonathan Trott 58, Ian Bell 109, Jonny Bairstow 67; Ryan Harris 5 for 72, Steven Smith 3 for 18) lead Australia 96 for 7 (Shane Watson 30; Tim Bresnan 2 for 28, Graeme Swann 3 for 27) by 265 runs.
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