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Peter English at Lord's
July 16, 2009
Nathan Hauritz gave Australia hope he could support their under-manned attack by fielding late in the day after dislocating his right middle finger when dropping a stinging chance from Andrew Strauss. The offspinner Hauritz left the field immediately and x-rays showed no break, but his chances of a quick recovery depend on how the injury develops over the next day.
While he felt discomfort when he delivered a handful of balls on the Lord's outfield during the tea break, the move showed his determination to rejoin the attack that allowed England to steam to 364 for 6 on the first day. Andrew Strauss, who was unbeaten on 161, redesigned Hauritz's fingertip on 52 when the bowler stuck his hand out at hip height to intercept the drive.
"I hit the ball pretty well, and I think he was pretty surprised that I jumped down the wicket," Strauss said. "From then on he just walked straight off, so I presumed it was a dislocation. A bit of good luck for me and bad luck for him."
The wicketkeeper Brad Haddin tried not to look at the bent finger before the physiotherapist Alex Kountouris straightened it in the dressing room. "I don't know if I can talk about it," Haddin said. "I don't like seeing those things. My stomach can't handle it. It didn't look great."
Hauritz was the leading spinner in Cardiff with six wickets for the match and after allowing 26 runs in 8.3 overs was replaced by Marcus North. Before the series it was expected North, a part-time offspinner, would take on heavy load in this series and he kept his end tight for 16.3 overs.
Haddin was impressed with Hauritz's return to the field for the final hour and hoped he would be able to bowl in the second innings - or earlier. "We'll see how he pulls up," Haddin said. "With these sort of dislocated fingers, they can sometimes calm down after 24 hours once you've had time to throw them in some ice."
The Australians hit back with six breakthroughs after England's openers reached 196 against some inconsistent bowling, particularly from Mitchell Johnson. Ben Hilfenhaus was tight, taking 2 for 77, but the visitors were flattered by the wicket column.
"We were looking down the barrel of a very bad day at 0 for 200 and I thought we fought back well," Haddin said. "But the bottom line is as well as we went today, there's 360 on the board and a massive first session coming up in the morning. We've got to make sure we can build some of that pressure with the ball and create enough chances."
Haddin is also looking to improve his keeping after giving up 15 byes. He struggled with the movement after it passed the batsmen and gave up ten extras in two overs from Peter Siddle before lunch. There was also a missed catch from a Hilfenhaus no-ball, but he managed to hold on to a low take off Siddle to remove Kevin Pietersen for 32.
"From a personal point of view I was a bit tense in that time [in the first session]," Haddin said. "My feet weren't going how I would've liked them for that bit. I was probably a bit nervous with the whole occasion at Lord's. Once I calmed down and got into the day, I started to enjoy the day a bit more."
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