Dec 7, 2013
Once a bowler known to spray the ball all around, Mitchell Johnson has now come back, and he has done it in style. The first Test was all about the barrage of short-pitched stuff which unsettled the English batsmen. As he threatened to continue the same in the second Test, Johnson ended up getting his scalps with fuller deliveries this time round, and the English were found wanting once again. Between his first wicket of Alastair Cook and the last one of Monty Panesar, Johnson scalped five wickets in a matter of 30 minutes.
Here’s how the Johnson-induced England collapse happened post lunch:
Wicket No 1: Ben Stokes — 117/5
Mitchell Johnson was the last man debutant Stokes would have preferred to face at that point of time. After an erratic performance going into lunch, England lost their fifth wicket with just one added post the break. Stokes was done in by pace. The umpire turned down the vociferous leg-before call by Johnson and co.
Skipper Michael Clarke went for the review and the replays showed, the ball had hit the pad first, and would have crashed into the leg stump. England now already in deep trouble.
Wicket No 2: Matt Prior — 117/6
Well, Prior, England’s most dependable bat down the order went for his second duck in as many matches now. Johnson, coming over the wicket, got the ball away from the right-hander. Fresh on the crease, Prior tentatively prodded at the delivery and was caught behind by Brad Haddin.
Wicket No 3: Stuart Broad — 117/7
Well, that was poor batting from Broad, who could have done much better considering his ability with the bat. It was sliding towards the leg and Broad shuffled across to glance it along the way. Yet again, the batsman got it wrong and the pace of Johnson was good enough to send the ball crashing onto the leg stump. Now, Johnson was on a hat-trick, and also bagged three wickets in that maiden over. Undoubtedly one of the finest spells in Test cricket, in a long time. But there was more to come.
Wicket No 4: Graeme Swann — 135/8
Two overs later, Swann gifted his wicket away. The ball was moving away from Swann, and he could have easily left it alone. But Swann thought it better to poke at the ball, and it flew straight towards the slips. Brilliant catch by Michael Clarke!
Wicket No 5: James Anderson — 135/9
Perfect ball to dismiss a tail-ender. It’s full and straight and Anderson misses the ball. The middle stump is sent on an eternal flight. Johnson with his midas touch has a five wicket haul again.
Also on cricketcountry.com