Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia need four more wickets to go 2-0 up in the series
Australia are on the verge of going 2-0 up in the Ashes series after their bowling attack wore England down on day four of the second Test in Adelaide.
Australia pace bowler Peter Siddle was the star performer with the ball as he picked up two wickets.
England’s batting duo of Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen also deserve credit as they resisted against Australia’s onslaught by scoring half-centuries.
Starting out the day on 132/3, Australia captain Michael Clarke declared immediately in order to have sufficient time to bowl England out again.
Chasing a target of 531 to level the series, England got off to the worst possible start as captain Alastair Cook was caught by Ryan Harris at long leg for just one run when attempting a hook shot off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson.
Just as England looked to be rebuilding after the loss of Cook, Michael Carberry was brilliantly caught by Nathan Lyon at long leg for 14 runs off the bowling of Siddle.
Following the loss of Cook and Carberry, Root and Pietersen stabilised the innings with a 111-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Pietersen was clean bowled by Siddle for 53 off 99 deliveries, which included two boundaries and three sixes.
Ian Bell, who was England’s best batsman in the first innings, failed to have an impact this time round as he was caught by Johnson at mid-on for just six runs off the bowling of Steven Smith.
Root ended up scoring 87 off 194 balls, which included nine boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Lyon.
Debutant Ben Stokes managed to score 28 runs before being caught by Clarke at second slip off the bowling of Harris.
After a flurry of wickets, Stuart Broad and wicketkeeper Matt Prior managed to put together an unbeaten 37-run partnership before stumps was called.
Broad finished on 22 off 23 balls, which included three boundaries, while Prior remained undefeated on 31 off 70 deliveries, which included five boundaries.
Siddle was the pick of the Australian bowlers with two wickets, while Johnson, Harris, Lyon and Smith all chipped in with one wicket apiece.
England ended the day of 247/6 and will continue batting tomorrow at 10:30 local time or 00:00 GMT.