England in woeful collapse in first Ashes Test

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England plummeted to a dismal collapse in the first Ashes Test as Australia turned the tables on a precarious first day for the home side. It was one of the most abysmal performances in recent memory by an England team, and with Australia riding the momentum and looking like they mean second innings business, the first Test looks like it may be beyond reach for Alistair Cooke’s men.

Australia didn’t exactly do themselves proud in their first innings, but despite things looking ominous at 132-6, a seventh-wicket partnership of 114 between Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson ground them back to respectability and a final tally of 295.

Mitchell Johnson was the hero of day 2 as he ripped through the England order with a rampant display of aggressive fast bowling. England lost six wickets for 9 runs in 10 astonishing overs as they lurched from 82 for two to 91 for eight. Watching such a comprehensive meltdown was agonising to watch, unless of course, if you were Australian and the Gabba exploded into a cauldron of noise as the Aussies scented blood.

Only Michael Carberry managed anything approaching resistance to Johnson (4-61) and Ryan Harris (3-28) as England floundered in sea of unconvincing strokeplay, poor decision making and sub standard technique.

With England all out for a pitiful 136, Australian began the second innings leading by 159 runs – a lead that seemed inconceivable at the end of the first day. And the Australian openers set about mopping up England’s corpse as they put another 65 on the board without loss before the close of play. Australia therefore lead by 224 runs, with 10 wickets and 3 days to spare.

Three years ago at the Gabba, England were 221 runs behind after the first innings and went on to play an epic second innings of 517-1. Alas the likelihood of such feats being repeated seems painfully slim.

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