England slumped to 58-3 at stumps on the second day of the deciding fifth Ashes Test on Friday after Australia claimed three quick wickets to undermine Stuart Broad’s inspirational bowling display.
England still held an overall lead of 230 runs. Fifteen 15 wickets fell in a dramatic day, which began with England ending
Eng 1st Inn 332
Australia 1st inn 133
Eng 2nd Inn
Strauss batting 32
Cook c Clarke b North 09
Bell c Katich b Johnson 04
Collingwood c Katich b Johnson 01
Trott batting 08
Total (for 3 wickets) 58
Extras (lb1, w1, nb2) 4
FoW 1-27, 2-34, 3-39
Bowling: Hilfenhaus 5-1-9-0, Siddle 6-1-15-0,
North 9-2-15-1, Johnson 4-0-12-2, Katich 4-2-6-0.
But after reaching 27-0, England was quickly reduced to 39-3. Alastair Cook was out for 9, caught at slip off Marcus North, and Ian Bell and Paul Collingwood were both caught by short leg fielder Simon Katich off Mitchell Johnson for 4 and 1 respectively.
Captain Andrew Strauss was 32 not out with debutant Jonathan Trott unbeaten on 8. The evening slump by England may have dented its chances of regaining the Ashes.
The six-week series turned in a two-hour afternoon session when Australia lost eight wickets, and eventually saw all 10 wickets fall for 87 runs in 30 overs and 138 minutes, having reached 61-0 at lunch.
Broad sparked the collapse by grabbing the first four Australian wickets in a 21-ball burst in which he conceded eight runs, extracting swing and seam on an unusually bowler-friendly pitch at The Oval.
He went on to record his third five-wicket Test haul after taking best figures of 6-91 in the last match that Australia won by an innings to level the series at 1-1. Off-spinner Graeme Swann exploited a dry, dusty pitch. Australia opted to omit its leading Nathan Hauritz.
Australia seemed well placed at lunch, but collapsed following a rain delay.
Opener Shane Watson, fortunate to survive an lbw appeal against Andrew Flintoff when on 4, was eventually dismissed lbw by Broad for 34.