Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 3rd day December 18, 2010

England in tatters after Hussey sets up Australia

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England 187 and 5 for 81 (Anderson 0*) need 310 more runs to beat Australia 268 and 309 (Hussey 116, Watson 95, Tremlett 5-87)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia are closing in on a series-levelling victory at the WACA after ripping out five England wickets during the final session to back up Michael Hussey's 116 which continued his phenomenal series. Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris both struck in the final five minutes of play to finish with two apiece while other scalp, the key one of Kevin Pietersen for 3, went to the hardworking Ben Hilfenhaus as England lurched to stumps on 5 for 81.

Those final few moments did huge damage to England who were already struggling. Jonathan Trott had played well for 31 before fencing at Johnson and, in a sign of how fortunes have changed, Ricky Ponting parried the ball at second slip only for Brad Haddin to snap up the chance. Ponting immediately left the field for treatment on a finger so missed the final-ball drama when the out-of-form Paul Collingwood edge Harris to third slip, the ball after nightwatchman James Anderson declined a single to take the strike off Collingwood.

Hussey and Shane Watson, who fell five runs short of his hundred, were chiefly responsible for building Australia's strong position as they extended their fourth-wicket stand to 113. After that, England staged a fightback with Chris Tremlett claiming his maiden five-wicket haul as the last six wickets fell for 55 but, despite the positive talk of a repeat of South Africa's 414-run chase in 2008-09, history was always unlikely to repeat itself.

Australia were mightily pumped up for the final session, knowing the quick bowlers could go full throttle. Ponting wasn't afraid to switch the bowlers around and it was a change of ends for Harris that brought the first breakthrough when Alastair Cook was struck on the back leg. Cook asked Andrew Strauss if it was worth a review, but wasn't supported by his captain. The ball would have clipped the bails.

Johnson had been brought on in the sixth over and offered a couple of boundary balls, then tightened up to off stump and found Strauss's edge which flew comfortably to Ponting at second slip. Whereas Hussey had given a lesson in what to leave, England's batsmen were far less certain.

Pietersen also chased a wide delivery that he poked to first slip to give Hilfenhaus his first wicket since the third ball of the series. Pietersen had escaped a pair with a pull to fine leg but hadn't settled when he hung his bat out, although it was nothing less than Hilfenhaus deserved for a probing spell. For Pietersen it was his lowest contribution when he has batted twice in a Test. Like his team, it's been quite a comedown from Adelaide.

Throughout the match it has been tough for batsmen when they first come in, which emphasises the importance of the lone hundred so far from Hussey. His latest masterclass made him the first batsman to hit six consecutive fifty-plus scores in a Ashes Tests, a run dating back to his futile hundred at The Oval in 2009. He also became the leading run-scorer in the series, overtaking Cook, and made this the most prolific series of his career. Not bad for a player who nearly lost his place before it all started in Brisbane.

He brought up his hundred with a crunching pull, the manner in which many of his boundaries arrived as England maintained the plan of feeding his strength. He was barely troubled by any of the short-pitched offerings, which although working against some of his team-mates were a futile and wasted effort to Hussey.

Hussey has an impressive conversion rate of fifties to hundreds, but the same can't yet be said of Watson. He'd barely put a foot wrong during his innings, unfurling some thumping drives against Steven Finn as he moved carefully to 95 and within sight of his third Test century. Tremlett then got one to hold its line on middle which Watson missed, but the batsman called for a review thinking he'd hit the ball.

It was a small window for England, which looked to have become a little bigger when Steven Smith was given caught at slip off an inside edge by Billy Doctrove, but this time the UDRS worked in Australia's favour when no nick was detected and the ball was also heading over the stumps. It was a skittish innings from Smith, who could also have been run out, before Tremlett's move to round the wicket worked as Smith gloved down the leg side

Haddin began with a sweep for six over midwicket against Swann, who only bowled five overs in the day and struggled, but got an inside edge into the stumps to give Tremlett a fourth. The lower order couldn't offer Hussey much support as Johnson drove to cover, Harris pulled to deep midwicket and Siddle edged to third to slip to hand Anderson his 200th Test wicket.

Hussey finally departed to the pull, when he picked out deep square-leg to give Tremlett a deserved five-wicket haul, but his innings had set up victory that will arrive on Sunday. And from the position Australia were in on the first afternoon, that's an astonishing turnaround.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY SenorPepper on | December 19, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    If I was (Not that anyone would want to be) Darren Gough, I'd dig myself a hole...Oh wait! I'm already in it. Well done Aussie Cricket team. Mitchell Johnson's first inning swing...we would love to see you come Boxing day. Michael Hussey, all of us who never doubted your abilities are counting on you for another spectacular display of restrained aggression.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 19, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    Actually, milepost, if you look at this thread you'll see that most of the English supporters are here, giving Australia congratulations on being the better side in this game. That's more than you can say for the Aussie supporters after Adelaide, who only griped about the bad Australian performance and didn't have much good to say about England. In fact, I thought the English bowlers performed pretty well here. Getting 20 Australian wickets for under 600 runs (only 28 more than in the last test) was a creditable effort. Only Hussey and Watson made runs in the 2nd innings, the other 9 made less than 100 between them. In England's first innings they were 0-78 before Johnson unleashed his brilliant spell. That was good enough to go through any side in the world. That piece of bowling turned the game around and kept the series alive. Now it's on to Melbourne and Sydney with all to play for.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    Aussie should bring Brad Hodge back. He has beennplaying 20/20 here in New Zealand and has been playing superbly. Hauritz should also come back for the boxing day test

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 1:10 GMT

    No doubt Australia will win today and it is quite the turnaround. One thing though that amuses (more like frsutrates me) is the selfish use of the referal system by certain players. I'd love to see how many times going back however long this technology has been in place that te likes of particularly Ponting, Watson & Pieterson have called for desperate reviews & wasted them when they were plainly out and it should have been saved for more dubious calls.

  • POSTED BY breno104 on | December 19, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    Great performance by aussie bowlers and hussey and Watson! Still a few concerns for boxing day however. Unfortunately Aussies need to pick a spinner, and not four quicks. Hauritz HAS to come in over Beer. Smith isn't a test spinner, or batsman for that matter. Love his energy but it's a farce having him at 6. Khawaja needs to play. Go Aussies!

  • POSTED BY milepost on | December 19, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    Where are the all conquering England team? And the mouthy supporters? Probably somewhere eating their words. These are evenly matched teams and both teams look hungrier than ever. Both teams have had great individual performances but the team that clicks and finally plays as one will grab this series.

  • POSTED BY Silloh on | December 19, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    Exciting aussies of old will win by tea time ! Didn't hear them last night .Excellent turn around from second test and all pumped up to start the Melboune game and why not a back to back test and start tomorrow ? No man, you guys take a well deserved break and celebrate but not too much. You still have a job to finish and the English will come back because their team is one of the best seen for some time. They did Australia a big favour by hurting their pride in the second test and this no doubt promulgated the team to dig real deep. I have questions about Hughes but hopefully no changes would be made to the winning team. Notice little was said of Smith's contribution in the partnership with Hussey. Good prospect and investment. He will only get better.So from the Caribbean , suck it to them tonight with a biot of sledging ! But remember Test cricket is the winner . Ohh and introduce red cards for umpires ... have never seen so many mistakes. They need to turnaround fast.

  • POSTED BY Iceborn999 on | December 18, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Australia have thrown everything they have at England in this test. An admirable effort by an Australian side lacking in confidence. HOWEVER, there is still 2 days of cricket left... It is not over till its over. Australia should not start celebrating, till we have won... Ian Bell is yet to bat and is Matt Prior. Come on Australia!, bowl the right lines and lets bury this England team...... I wouldn't mind seeing SMith get an over or 2 either.

  • POSTED BY clearhead on | December 18, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    The reasons for this state of affairs are (1)Poor bowling, esp by Flint and Anderson (2)The distraction of wives and others joining the team. I suspect that there was a fair measure of (usual) English overconfidence as well which led to (2) and the poor batting display.

    I disagree that Collingwood is out of his depth; he needs some confidence boost.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    There is a great differance between winning a test and winning a series! Yes never underestimate your opponent.Aussie have come back in the series with true grit and determination.The fight will continue in the coming tests.

  • POSTED BY SenorPepper on | December 19, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    If I was (Not that anyone would want to be) Darren Gough, I'd dig myself a hole...Oh wait! I'm already in it. Well done Aussie Cricket team. Mitchell Johnson's first inning swing...we would love to see you come Boxing day. Michael Hussey, all of us who never doubted your abilities are counting on you for another spectacular display of restrained aggression.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 19, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    Actually, milepost, if you look at this thread you'll see that most of the English supporters are here, giving Australia congratulations on being the better side in this game. That's more than you can say for the Aussie supporters after Adelaide, who only griped about the bad Australian performance and didn't have much good to say about England. In fact, I thought the English bowlers performed pretty well here. Getting 20 Australian wickets for under 600 runs (only 28 more than in the last test) was a creditable effort. Only Hussey and Watson made runs in the 2nd innings, the other 9 made less than 100 between them. In England's first innings they were 0-78 before Johnson unleashed his brilliant spell. That was good enough to go through any side in the world. That piece of bowling turned the game around and kept the series alive. Now it's on to Melbourne and Sydney with all to play for.

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    Aussie should bring Brad Hodge back. He has beennplaying 20/20 here in New Zealand and has been playing superbly. Hauritz should also come back for the boxing day test

  • POSTED BY on | December 19, 2010, 1:10 GMT

    No doubt Australia will win today and it is quite the turnaround. One thing though that amuses (more like frsutrates me) is the selfish use of the referal system by certain players. I'd love to see how many times going back however long this technology has been in place that te likes of particularly Ponting, Watson & Pieterson have called for desperate reviews & wasted them when they were plainly out and it should have been saved for more dubious calls.

  • POSTED BY breno104 on | December 19, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    Great performance by aussie bowlers and hussey and Watson! Still a few concerns for boxing day however. Unfortunately Aussies need to pick a spinner, and not four quicks. Hauritz HAS to come in over Beer. Smith isn't a test spinner, or batsman for that matter. Love his energy but it's a farce having him at 6. Khawaja needs to play. Go Aussies!

  • POSTED BY milepost on | December 19, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    Where are the all conquering England team? And the mouthy supporters? Probably somewhere eating their words. These are evenly matched teams and both teams look hungrier than ever. Both teams have had great individual performances but the team that clicks and finally plays as one will grab this series.

  • POSTED BY Silloh on | December 19, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    Exciting aussies of old will win by tea time ! Didn't hear them last night .Excellent turn around from second test and all pumped up to start the Melboune game and why not a back to back test and start tomorrow ? No man, you guys take a well deserved break and celebrate but not too much. You still have a job to finish and the English will come back because their team is one of the best seen for some time. They did Australia a big favour by hurting their pride in the second test and this no doubt promulgated the team to dig real deep. I have questions about Hughes but hopefully no changes would be made to the winning team. Notice little was said of Smith's contribution in the partnership with Hussey. Good prospect and investment. He will only get better.So from the Caribbean , suck it to them tonight with a biot of sledging ! But remember Test cricket is the winner . Ohh and introduce red cards for umpires ... have never seen so many mistakes. They need to turnaround fast.

  • POSTED BY Iceborn999 on | December 18, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Australia have thrown everything they have at England in this test. An admirable effort by an Australian side lacking in confidence. HOWEVER, there is still 2 days of cricket left... It is not over till its over. Australia should not start celebrating, till we have won... Ian Bell is yet to bat and is Matt Prior. Come on Australia!, bowl the right lines and lets bury this England team...... I wouldn't mind seeing SMith get an over or 2 either.

  • POSTED BY clearhead on | December 18, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    The reasons for this state of affairs are (1)Poor bowling, esp by Flint and Anderson (2)The distraction of wives and others joining the team. I suspect that there was a fair measure of (usual) English overconfidence as well which led to (2) and the poor batting display.

    I disagree that Collingwood is out of his depth; he needs some confidence boost.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    There is a great differance between winning a test and winning a series! Yes never underestimate your opponent.Aussie have come back in the series with true grit and determination.The fight will continue in the coming tests.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 18, 2010, 22:02 GMT

    What if....Bell and Prior put on 300?? They are both capable of this. Clutching at straws is really all one has but occasionally the blind optimist wins. Why don't the English outsledge the Aussies? Just really hurt them in the head. It's possible. They are only human. Some of them are not even that macho. Time to dish it out in spades I think.

  • POSTED BY David47 on | December 18, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    Right selectors - now, as I've been saying for a long time, if you haven't got a test-quality spinner, don't pick one. If that means going with four quicks then so be it. Only possible change for Melbourne, Smith out and a specialist batsman in (UK, Lynn, Finch, Maddinson).

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    Great result for Australia..will win some time today without doubt.Still issues with the batting for Australia, and believe Clarke needs to be dropped and bring in Khuwaja. (wont happen as we will win test and traditionally do not change a winning team) If Australia just play solid cricket they can win series as England are not a great team. Their bowling is only serviceable, and their batting relies solely on the Top 3....once wickets fall early they will crumble as Pietersen is not reliable, Collingwood is lucky to be playing Test cricket...only Bell looks like he is up to it. Australia will go into next test with an unchanged line - up...and now its game on!

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    The Ashes 2010 -2011 .... England off to a Promising start in the second test ,and then comes the big bang !3rd Test : Hussey's second Hundred ,and Johnson's second Sixer ...any talk about England Thrashing Australia in a game thyve dominated for over tens years just got flushed down the toilet with their recent performance lol ! Go AUSSIES !

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 20:29 GMT

    england had taken australia as weaker side from last test.but taking your opposition lightly often proves your big mistake

  • POSTED BY stationmaster on | December 18, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    Andrew Straus stated that 'there would be no passengers on this team'. Collingwood needs to leave the team bus now, he looks WAY out of his depth. Morgan, get your pads on son, you're in.

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | December 18, 2010, 18:47 GMT

    Oh dear it's all gone horribly wrong! Maybe the England a management should send the wives/girlfriends/families home and let the players focus on playing cricket and not on maiking whoopie..... Fair play to the Aussies they were great almost as great as England were bad! This debacle has shown that this England side is good - but not special! It can only be put down to 'distractions'as if KP needs anything to distract him. He has let himself, his team and his adopted country down and similar comments could be made about others? Where's the fight? Where's that Bulldog spirit? This test is all but over and the balance of power has shifted to the Aussies. It all started with a lacklustre 1st day when we let the Aussies back into the game with some pretty average bowling. Sometimes being an England supporter can be embarrassing - this is one of those times! Great stuff from the Aussies and they deserve this resounding victory.... England should be ashamed of themselves... muppets! Oh well

  • POSTED BY pakwellwisher on | December 18, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    Thank you australia !! Finally the britishers will be quiet for some time -:)

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Yes the momentum has changed quite dramatically. So far so good, things are gone in Ausies favor. But as we all know and as I.An Bell has said earlier that the know that its a only test here in PERTH. So concerns are still on for Ausies. They have to consider MJohnsan again for Boxing day test match at MCG. But they will have to think that M.Johnsan was not been able to seam and swing the ball in other pitches at all. So this might be the big match loosing gamble ? who knows. Being a England supporter, i am now anxiously waiting for England to come back strongly in 4th test. Want to see same performance by England as they had shown previously in the first 2 tests. Today IAN Botham has spoken that if Ausies have to beat England then will be making green pitch in upcoming MCG test. Which is in my point of view, unlikely to do so. MCG would be a flat deck i reckon. Chances are still on. I agree to the comment that who knows, England bounces back heavy in next test and Ausies gets exposed

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    A week is along time in sport as well as politics. Never ever write off the wounded and aggrieved Aussie... something the Kiwi League team will do well to remember in 2011. Sets up to be a memorable Ashes now...

  • POSTED BY sajidimrankhan on | December 18, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    wow, what a performance on aussie best wicket.appreciatable, and moreover thriling:))))) A dissapoinment for the english fans:(((

  • POSTED BY Something_Witty on | December 18, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    I was sure before the start of this series I heard many an Englishman write Watson off as a makeshift opener and a front foot plodder who would be found out against the swinging ball. I wonder if they've changed their minds after actually watching him bat.

  • POSTED BY Finn92 on | December 18, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    I still don't believe Johnson is back at his best see how he does at Melbourne, he only seems to bowl well in Perth. I agree with the comments regarding stealing momentum by smashing ball to all corners for half a day who knows Bell and Prior may take England to the brink and the criticism will be right back on Aussies again. It does make the series interesting and tense but England were due a bad test and as soon as its happened all the media are piling on pressure saying how rubbish they are and calling for changes etc. We are historically very poor in Perth so we had to have expected this. They will need to pick Hauritz to win series though cos four quicks won't work at MCG or SCG and don't dare say Smith is their spinner cos he is very poor.

  • POSTED BY MartinAmber on | December 18, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    It was worse than I thought. Today saw James Anderson complete a hat-trick of exposing senior batsmen very late in the day and seeing them dismissed: Flintoff at Mohali 08/09; Cook Headingley 09, and Collingwood today. AKA failing to do your job properly. Have a word someone, please. This may yet prove important in the fourth and fifth Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    What a turn around.No body expected such a bowling performance from the Australians especially Mitchell Johnson.The English top and middle order didn't score more than 100 in both the innings.I don't know what could be attributed to this sudden change of fortune?English were made to look great in the earlier tests and now it looks like the same outfit which had lost 9 out of 10 tests prior to this tour to Australia.Hussey is one of the best cricketers in the world if current form is taken into account.

  • POSTED BY sirgeoffrey on | December 18, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    Bell must bat at three.He is in the form of his life.Trott and Pieterson are both temperamental/far from consistent.If either of them fail, as today, it precipitates an almighty collapse.Bell usually has to bat with the tail and is not given the opportunity to score as heavily as he undoubtedly would if he was higher up the order.Don't wait until he loses form before promoting him, do i tnow

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    wow.. jus loved the day's play.. huss scores his second ashes hundred. amazing. aussies gonna win this one:)

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 18, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Another great innings from Hussey, backed up by Watson, has put Australia well clear. What a series Hussey is having; he has almost singlehandedly carried the Australian batting in all three tests. Then good bowling again by the Australian seamers, helped by some not-so-clever batting from England. So the series is back to 1-1, and it's two games with everything to play for. As an England supporter I'd have liked to see England win this one, but as a cricket fan I'm happy that the rubber is still alive. Congratulations, Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    The shift in momentum is amazing.If England can hang around for close to two sessions, play positively even if it is in a losing cause, and then start afresh in the Boxing day test anything is possible in this series. I still feel England can win the Ashes.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 18, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    The duplicitous nature of the England side-nearly as bad as Pakistan-has raised its ugly head again. This is the game not to lose, so we are losing by miles.Once more the England fan is let down badly. Anderson looked like a man who had flown 48 hours inside a week. when he bowled. The arguments on the matter of fathers attending births are not for here, but the nature of the body's reaction to all that airtravel surely raises questions, and like it or not Jimmy is playing for England, and needs to be in peak condition. Tremlett stepped in manfully- a very good replacement for Broad, but he is no batsman. Finn cannot be expected to perform every time and Swann has been strangely ignored- a lamentable oversight as Strauss' overreliance on seam was neither successful nor palatable, given the lack of a spinner in the opposition too. it all leaves a feeling of back to the drawing board. Hopefully we can win the next two, but the batsmen will have to be present for that.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    This game is lost. England have batted poorly and, Tremlett apart, have bowled generally below par. They failed to close out the Aussie 1st innings and those runs added by the tail could prove vital. The short-ball barrage to Hussey is a poor plan; the occasional well directed bouncer is fine, but when he expects it short, then he generally deals with it. Strauss seemed to lose confidence in Swann in the Aussie 2nd innings; that's no good when you only have 3 other front line bowlers. Anderson was way off his best and Finn is buying his wickets at 5 per over. Think again England. I would bring in Bresnan for Finn and it's time to move on from Collingwood. He is looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Get it back together or little urn will be returned to the Aussies again.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    Oh dear, some sloppy dismissals today. On the plus side for England is that an Aussie win might mean they keep the same side for Melbourne - bring it on. Bresnan for Finn and Belly at number 4 please. 3-1 to England.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    English men are always like tower of cards..initial line up may be really strong but later the whole team can get out within 70 runs 7 wickets types. As i thought Ozs made a come back on Johnson's performance. OZ selectors paniced by droping Johnson. From here, i think that it would be OZs world. They need to bring back Hauritz.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    I'm still not quite sure but well pleased with the Aussies this test. The Poms haven't really helped themselves but one thing that had me miffed was how the Aussies swung the ball and the Poms couldn't.

    The highlight for me is seeing Pietersen out cheaply twice. His arrogance annoys. I felt sorry for Smith and again I'm not sure who should be fourth drop in the order. Doesn't anybody wonder how Brett Lee or Shaun Tait would've gone in this series?

  • POSTED BY ranjini20 on | December 18, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    Wow..what a stunning comeback by the Aussies. Mitch has been fantastic throughout this match.He has chipped in with the bat too. Hope he continues this form for the rest of the season. Now with this revival of sorts, i just hope there is a turnaround for Ricky as well.He needs to score some runs asap.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | December 18, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Full credit to Johnson, his four wicket burst on the second day has won the game for the Aussies. Brilliant display yet again from Hussey, and it's amazing to think that before the series he was on the verge of being dropped - probably for good. England have to show fight tomorrow. No chance of saving the game, but let's at least keep the Aussies out there and make them toil for their victory. They've been the better side without a doubt here, but I'm still confident that our boys will bounce back at Melbourne.

  • POSTED BY Boundsy0868 on | December 18, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Well done Aussies. Finally, providing some fight. Aussasinator - Hussey and Watson are bearing the burden imposed by a number of players, not just Punter. Punter is having a rough patch, no doubt, but he is still the best man to lead the team (unless someone else has any bright ideas about a replacement). No contribution to this test? You have to be joking - going with 4 quicks (gee looks like that worked, didn't it?), good bowling changes in the first innings, changing Harris to the other end with instant success in the second innings, a smart catch, a catch assist (he he)? There are enough people performing character assassinations on one of our most successful captains so to the rest of the Aussie supporters how about putting Aussasinator in his place? I recall a recent interview with Huss who said Punter was the one who kept them all positive after the Adelaide disaster - sounds like a good leaderto me. It's a tough job, but who else is going to do it?

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    The best we can now do tomorrow is get a bit of lower order batting practise tomorrow, make the Aussie bowlers work hard for the final 5 wickets. You never know...Johnson (who is clearly getting back to his best form) might injure himself in the process.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    Well played to Australia by getting themselves back in the series, though I still believe that England can come back at Melbourne. Australia have played well in this one test match due to individuals really them being Johnson, Hussey and Watson, England have had a terrible match and they haven't really helped themselves. But this is the same scenario as the 2009 Ashes test at Headingly, England were out cheaply in both innings and I believe Johnson bowled well then too, if England can string together a respectable score tommorrow then they can still take momentum away just like Swann and Broad did at Headingly. With Prior,Bell and Swann all to come then England have a licence to play with freedom and gain momentum going into the next test. Anything can happen in this series.

  • POSTED BY BlueyCollar on | December 18, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Boxing Days going to be HUGE!!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Steweee on | December 18, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    What a pleasure watching this innings. Congrats to M Johnson, especially after the savaging he took from Peter Roebuck - what a load of rubbish - who's he to try and psychoanalyze a bowler in the press. Welcome back Mitch. Same reporter who criticised the side for sledging and arrogance when they were winning.

  • POSTED BY Australia17594 on | December 18, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    @Aussasinator Ponting's captaincy to switch harris around. MOST IMPORTANT he didn't want beer in the team. that proved great

  • POSTED BY MartinAmber on | December 18, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    Sorry, Jimmy, I know you're a fine bowler and well done on your 200th wicket. But not taking that single was the most idiotic piece of cricket I've seen since... ooh, Headingley 2009, when you did take a leg-bye off the first ball of an over and watched Alastair Cook get out to the last. Can someone please tell him what a nightwatchman is supposed to DO?

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Fantastic come back by the Australians. Who ever has expected this sort of performance by Australians, importantly by Hussey and Mitchell Johnson mainly. Johnson was the man who exposed England`s batting and lack of concentration against seam bowling. Clicked at the right time. But as Bell said earlier that it is gonna be a only game in PERTH. Other venues may not be behaving like the pitch we have here. I hope England bounces back in the next MCG 4th test. Flat wickets suit them. Yes I felt that it was a poor short selection by ENGLAND. They got out exactly in a same fashion as they were bowled out in first innings. Strauss and mainly Pieterson got out cheaply by bad shorts. Collingwood was just ridiculous of the very last ball of the day. Bell should have promoted. Now we are gonna see the match ends up in tomorrow`s first session. :( disappointed being a England supporter. But plenty to come i hope :). Now waiting for the 4th test in MCG. I hope it would be a flat deck over there.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    What a turnaround! Suddenly England do not look half the dominant side they were, once Cook went cheaply. Of course the match is not over yet and Australia has been struggling to close matches- remember Cardiff and Chandigarh! Of course it needs a superhuman effort to save this game and that seems unlikely . The wickets of Trott and Collingwood towards the end really points to a series levelling and perhaps series changing win. Hussey has grown from strength to strength though Smith has been found wanting at no.6 though he should play at Melbourne, as too must Hughes despite two poor outings. Australia should canter home if Ponting rediscovers his touch. I think some important blows have been struck particulary on Swann and if they cana get him out cheaply again, then they keep one more Engish player down, It is a great effort and Mitch seems to be a true indicator of the Aussie mood and when he plays well Australia has done well. Just close it Austraia and the momentum will shift

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | December 18, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Hmmmm. Test cricket strikes again. How wonderful to be able to enjoy the Ashes down here and a competitive series as well. Who would have thought after lackluster performances in the first two tests that we would be in this situation now? What will the next two tests bring? You can keep that T20 rubbish! Ashes cricket for Christmas please!

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    Finally !!! It was about time ...

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Mr. Cricket is at his best. Learn from Aussies. Play at your strength thats what Aussies did by playing four pace attack.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | December 18, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Stunning developments after a 391 target set. it was quite achievable with disciplined batting with no devils in the pitch. England was always the stronger batting line up and its stunning to see them collapse in the manner they did. I'm disappointed but my only takeaway is that Ponting has contributed nothing to this victory of Oz but has only served notice that the team is better off without him at No 3. I salute Hussey and Watson who are bearing the burden imposed by their skipper.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Talk about being back with a bang!

  • POSTED BY Itchy on | December 18, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    A skittish innings from Steve Smith! Considering the man he replaced, Smith was calm and collected - he could have been run out after Hussey gave him the big "Yes, NO!" for a run. As much as I like Huss, he does have a habit of running out partners with ridiculous calls for singles - he almost ran out Haddin about an hour after the Smith incident. I can also remember him running out Ponting at least twice in similar circumstances (Flintoff throwing down the stumps in the 2009 Ashes which immediately comes to mind). Huss is damn quick and he seems to think that everyone else should be as fast.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | December 18, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    Absolute masterclass from Australia! A superb performance with batting, bowling and fielding! Dependable Watson and Hussey! And whaddisay!If Mitch doesn't get you, Hilfy will! If Hilfy doesn't get you, Rhino Harris will! If Rhino Harris doesn't get you, Sid Vicious will! And a masterstroke from Ricky Ponting to switch Harris around!

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | December 18, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Great play from Australia. Good luck for the rest of the series.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    Brilliantly done today by Australia, hopefully Ricky Ponting will have an awesome birthday present by lunch time tomorrow.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    Brilliantly done today by Australia, hopefully Ricky Ponting will have an awesome birthday present by lunch time tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | December 18, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    Great play from Australia. Good luck for the rest of the series.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | December 18, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    Absolute masterclass from Australia! A superb performance with batting, bowling and fielding! Dependable Watson and Hussey! And whaddisay!If Mitch doesn't get you, Hilfy will! If Hilfy doesn't get you, Rhino Harris will! If Rhino Harris doesn't get you, Sid Vicious will! And a masterstroke from Ricky Ponting to switch Harris around!

  • POSTED BY Itchy on | December 18, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    A skittish innings from Steve Smith! Considering the man he replaced, Smith was calm and collected - he could have been run out after Hussey gave him the big "Yes, NO!" for a run. As much as I like Huss, he does have a habit of running out partners with ridiculous calls for singles - he almost ran out Haddin about an hour after the Smith incident. I can also remember him running out Ponting at least twice in similar circumstances (Flintoff throwing down the stumps in the 2009 Ashes which immediately comes to mind). Huss is damn quick and he seems to think that everyone else should be as fast.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Talk about being back with a bang!

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | December 18, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Stunning developments after a 391 target set. it was quite achievable with disciplined batting with no devils in the pitch. England was always the stronger batting line up and its stunning to see them collapse in the manner they did. I'm disappointed but my only takeaway is that Ponting has contributed nothing to this victory of Oz but has only served notice that the team is better off without him at No 3. I salute Hussey and Watson who are bearing the burden imposed by their skipper.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Mr. Cricket is at his best. Learn from Aussies. Play at your strength thats what Aussies did by playing four pace attack.

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    Finally !!! It was about time ...

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | December 18, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Hmmmm. Test cricket strikes again. How wonderful to be able to enjoy the Ashes down here and a competitive series as well. Who would have thought after lackluster performances in the first two tests that we would be in this situation now? What will the next two tests bring? You can keep that T20 rubbish! Ashes cricket for Christmas please!

  • POSTED BY on | December 18, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    What a turnaround! Suddenly England do not look half the dominant side they were, once Cook went cheaply. Of course the match is not over yet and Australia has been struggling to close matches- remember Cardiff and Chandigarh! Of course it needs a superhuman effort to save this game and that seems unlikely . The wickets of Trott and Collingwood towards the end really points to a series levelling and perhaps series changing win. Hussey has grown from strength to strength though Smith has been found wanting at no.6 though he should play at Melbourne, as too must Hughes despite two poor outings. Australia should canter home if Ponting rediscovers his touch. I think some important blows have been struck particulary on Swann and if they cana get him out cheaply again, then they keep one more Engish player down, It is a great effort and Mitch seems to be a true indicator of the Aussie mood and when he plays well Australia has done well. Just close it Austraia and the momentum will shift