England v Australia, 1st npower Test, Cardiff, 2nd day

A landmark, a duel, and a drop

Andrew Miller and Peter English

July 9, 2009

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Andrew Flintoff drops a tough chance off Simon Katich, England v Australia, 1st Test, Cardiff, 2nd day, July 9, 2009
Andrew Flintoff couldn't hang on to the tough caught and bowled chance offered by Simon Katich © Getty Images
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Milestone of the day
Ricky Ponting became only the fourth batsman to reach 11,000 Test runs when he pulled Stuart Broad for two to go to 41. By the end of the day he had 11,060 to sit behind Allan Border (11,174), Brian Lara (11,953) and Sachin Tendulkar (12,773). For a while Ponting seemed destined to become the game's leading run-scorer, but while he's only 34, it appears Tendulkar will take the mark well out of reach.

Indecision of the day
Billy Doctrove has spent much of the match shaking his head. On the opening day he refused to raise his finger to Kevin Pietersen on three occasions and was reluctant to agree with a couple more Ben Hilfenhaus shouts in today's first session. Graeme Swann failed to get Doctrove interested when Simon Katich was hit on the back leg and when Ricky Ponting chased a single and was almost at the stumps when the direct hit arrived, Doctrove called for the third umpire. Some calls were right, some were wrong.

Over of the day
Kevin Pietersen may regard Nathan Hauritz as an equal after the manner in which he was "outfoxed" on the first day, but it was left to the Alpha Spinner in this contest, Graeme Swann, to put Australia's interloper firmly back in his place. Hauritz's first delivery of the day turned sharply … straight past batsman and keeper, and away for four byes. Perversely encouraged by what he'd seen, as if imagining the fun he was about to have with the ball, Swann went onto a full-frontal offensive. Two violent biffs down the ground, the second of which confounded Peter Siddle at long-on, were followed by a cheeky and effective reverse-sweep, and the Rocky Hauritz Show had begun.

Shot of the day
There were oodles of contenders in a day when the batsmen held sway - Stuart Broad pierced the covers with a pair of perfect drives, while Simon Katich sent Andrew Flintoff out to pasture with a dismissive drill through long-on. But for sheer chutzpah, nothing quite matched Swann's extraordinary "switch-block" against Hauritz, a shot that was at once arrogant and comical, and yet somehow calm and orderly. On 41, and with just Monty Panesar for company, Swann flipped his stance to become a left-hander, but Hauritz saw what he was up to, and speared the ball in flat and fast. Unperturbed, Swann propped forward to play an orthodox defensive push. For his next trick, he'll play him blindfolded

Duel of the day
For eight adrenalized overs before lunch, Phillip Hughes displayed the dancing feet and crashing blade for which his reputation has preceded him. He cracked along at nearly a run a ball as James Anderson and Broad, stubbornly persisting with an over-the-wicket line, offered too much width too often for England's liking. But then, after the break, along came Andrew Flintoff. His first over of the session was a snorter - short, fast and constraining, and Hughes could merely flinch and duck. His runs dried up, save for one final slashing cut for four, but in the same Flintoff over, his innings came to an end, courtesy of a crooked bat, a jag off the seam, and an inside-edge through to Matt Prior.

Drop of the day
Katich is on his third England tour, and the previous two - in 2001 and 2005 - haven't exactly been career-enhancing experiences. Today, he set out to atone for past failings, and anchored Australia's reply with a dour and determined 104 from 219 balls. He needed two moments of luck to help him on his way, a lucky lbw reprieve against Swann on 56, and perhaps an even luckier let-off with a mere 10 to his name. Flintoff, who claimed his wicket on four occasions in 2005, tempted him into a mistimed checked drive, and all but grasped onto a low return chance as he stooped with his right hand. Flintoff's bucket hands fail him very rarely, but this time his fingers couldn't quite wrap around the chance.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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