Aus on top after stunning England collapse

BRISBANE. Australia shattered England’s batting with six wickets for nine runs in a stunning mid-afternoon spell before dismissing the tourists for 136 and taking a lead of 224 on day two of the first Ashes test in Brisbane on Friday.
Johnson (middle) laps up the acclaim of his team-mates during his innings-defining burst. Net photo.
Johnson (middle) laps up the acclaim of his team-mates during his innings-defining burst. Net photo.

First Ashes Test, (close, day two):

Australia 295 and 65-0 v England 136 - Australia lead by 224 runs

BRISBANE. Australia shattered England’s batting with six wickets for nine runs in a stunning mid-afternoon spell before dismissing the tourists for 136 and taking a lead of 224 on day two of the first Ashes test in Brisbane on Friday.

Opening batsmen David Warner (45 not out) and Chris Rogers (15) backed up the bowlers and solidified Australia’s position by batting out a gloomy final session to put the hosts firmly on course for a first test victory in 10 matches.

Oft-pilloried pacemen Mitchell Johnson led the way with four for 61 as Australia, bowled out for 295 in the first hour of the day, transformed the match after a disappointing opening day at the Gabba.

The revitalised left-arm quick was at his pacey, hostile best on a bouncy track and was ably supported by fellow paceman Ryan Harris (3-28) and spinner Nathan Lyon (2-17).

Despite the losses of captain Alastair Cook for 13 and Jonathan Trott for 10 before lunch, England looked to be making steady progress towards a reasonable score at 82-2 midway through the second session.

The departure of Kevin Pietersen for 18, when he swatted the ball off his pads to George Bailey at midwicket to give Harris his second wicket, was only a hint of the carnage to come.

Emboldened by the dismissal of one of England’s most dangerous batsmen, Johnson and his fellow bowlers ran rampant to leave the tourists facing an uphill task just to save the test let alone secure a first victory in Brisbane since 1986.

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