Giles and Jones leave Australia struggling
Australia were left struggling to save the follow-on after England produced another impressive performance in the field on the second day at Old Trafford. After being bowled out for 444, England's attack systematically dismantled the Australian batting line-up, led by Ashley Giles and Simon Jones with a mixture of spin and reverse swing. England's innings was boosted by an 87-run stand between Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones before Shane Warne finished proceedings in a hurry.
Warne was in the thick of the action at the end of the day, too, as his gutsy 45 at least prevented England's rampant attack racing through the tail in the evening session. But it was England's spinner who again took centre stage on a second day: just like at Edgbaston, Giles's introduction changed the picture completely. Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden added 58 - Australia's best opening stand of the series - before Giles removed them both and Damien Martyn.
It was another humbling day for Australia, who were further hampered by the back injury to Michael Clarke which resulted him come in at No. 8. He had been resting in the team hotel for most of the day, but as Australia's top-order was whittled away an urgent phone call was made to get him to the ground.
He gingerly walked into the pavilion, hobbled out on to the pitch, jumped around for 20 minutes, and then spooned a catch to mid-off for Jones's third wicket. It was a microcosm of Australia's current situation - a patched-up team with a creaking body which is being pushed to breaking point.
Australia's reply began calmly as Langer continued his form from Edgbaston and Hayden began to remind himself how to locate the middle of the bat. Giles, though, created problems straight away and found a perfect length to take advantage of the footholes.
He had Ian Bell to thank for Langer's wicket, with Bell holding a brilliant one-handed catch at short leg, and his second scalp owed a little to fortune as Hayden was given out lbw by Billy Bowden, although the ball struck him outside off stump. But Hayden, playing back to a ball spinning into him, was asking for trouble.
Giles's third wicket, however, was a collector's item. He produced a ripping delivery which pitched on the leg stump, spun and clipped off, leaving Martyn staring in bewilderment. It rivalled his deliveries to Inzamam-ul-Haq at Karachi in 2000-01 and Chris Cairns at Trent Bridge in 2004. Warne has produced some magic balls in this series, but Giles's are the ones that are counting.
Giles was a not a one-man show, though, with Jones continuing to show just how brilliantly he has learnt to utilise reverse swing. His first wicket, though, was all down to extra lift as Ricky Ponting got a looping edge from the shoulder of the bat from the first ball after lunch. It set the tone for the afternoon session.
Flintoff has also shown great ability to move the ball in any direction he wishes and completely outfoxed Simon Katich. After a series of deliveries which moved away he swung one back into him (again after an interval, this time for drinks) to which Katich shouldered arms - only to see his off stump heading south towards the wicketkeeper.
Adam Gilchrist, batting at No. 6 due to Clarke's injury, forged a rallying partnership of 53 with Warne. England missed two chances to remove him early - one to Bell and one to Kevin Pietersen (who should probably not make cover his permanent home) - but they did not prove too costly. Again Jones struck with a first ball - this time from his second spell - as Gilchrist nibbled at one outside off stump, then Jones quickly accounted for the crooked Clarke with a clever slower which found mid off.
England's 444 now looks imposing, and a first-innings total over 400 is never poor. Yet, while Flintoff and Geraint Jones were adding 87 in rapid fashion, even more was on the cards. They came together following the early loss of Bell, who could only feather a catch to Gilchrist as he attempted to hook Brett Lee.
Flintoff showed the virtues of playing himself in while Jones's innings was reminiscent of some of his fine counter-attacking knocks from last summer. They took 13 off an over from Lee and then ten from Warne, but just as Flintoff was eyeing up the tram tracks outside the ground he found Langer at long-on.
Then, to general astonishment considering the harsh treatment had received from the England batsmen, Jason Gillespie snuck one through Jones's defences. He roared with delight but a quick look at his bowling figures shows that he had registered his century in his 16th over. That will, without much doubt, be the quickest century of Gillespie's career.
Warne made short work of the remaining wickets, having Giles caught at slip and bowling Simon Jones through the gate. He finished with 4 for 99, worthy reward for another fine effort when he provided the main option for Ponting.
From a position of 290 for 2 Australia may have thought they'd got away with five dropped catches, a half-fit Glenn McGrath and a completely out of form Gillespie. When Warne was in action again at the end of the day - this time with the bat - they realised their problems were only just beginning.
Ian Bell c Gilchrist b Lee 59 (346 for 6)
Top-edged an attempted hook
Andrew Flintoff c Langer b Warne 46 (433 for 7)
Straight down to long on
Geraint Jones b Gillespie 42 (434 for 8)
Beaten by a fuller, quicker ball
Ashley Giles c Hayden b Warne 0 (438 for 9)
Regulation edge to slip
Simon Jones b Warne 0 (444 all out)
Huge drive, bowled through the gate
Justin Langer c Bell b Giles 31 (58 for 1)
Bat-pad, one-handed grab at short-leg
Ricky Ponting c Bell b S Jones 7 (73 for 2)
Rising delivery took shoulder of bat, looping catch to point
Matthew Hayden lbw b Giles 34 (82 for 3)
Played back, ball hit him outside off stump
Simon Katich b Flintoff 17 (115 for 4)
Left alone, demolished off stump
Damien Martyn b Giles 20 (129 for 5)
Pitched leg, hit off
Adam Gilchrist c G Jones b S Jones 30 (182 for 6)
Outside edge, low catch
Michael Clarke c Flintoff b S Jones 7 (197 for 7)
Beaten by a slower ball, drove straight to mid off
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo