England grinds Australia into Lord’s dust in Second Ashes Test

England have continued their domination of the Second Ashes Test and the strain is starting to show on Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

England are six for 311 with a lead of 521 runs and two days remaining to pile on the lead. They will hope to bowl the visitors out, as Australia couldn’t in the first Test, on a reasonably true pitch with rain threatening to cut down the action as it did in Cardiff.

After missing an easy run-out chance on Kevin Pietersen and dropping a catch from Ravi Bopara at second slip in successive overs early in the day, Ponting’s horrible game came to a head when Bopara hit a ball from Mitchell Johnson to mid on where Nathan Hauritz claimed a difficult catch, whereupon umpire Rudi Koertzen called for the third umpire and eventually gave Bopara not out.

Ponting’s reaction was to question Koertzen, who had mistakenly given Ponting himself out caught for a ball he didn’t hit in the Australian first innings, and then turn on Pietersen.

Australia started day three on eight for 156, still needing 76 to avoid the follow on chasing England’s 425. Hauritz (24) and Peter Siddle (35) provided some resistance but although the Australians only managed a total of 215, England captain did not enforce the follow on, as is the modern custom.

Englands openers Strauss (32) and Cook (32) started the innings on a solid footing and then came Bopara and Pietersen’s series of good luck. Their 74-run partnership was broken by Hauritz again with Bopara (27) caught by Katich, but by that time the lead was already over 350 and the batsmen started taking the long handle in a short-term search for quick runs.

Siddle had both Pietersen (44) and Collingwood (54) caught behind by Brad Haddin, with their dismissals split by the run out of Matt Prior (61) by Marcus North.

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