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England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 2nd day

August 2, 2013

Australia and declare in the same sentence

Nitin Sundar

After all that went on Day 1, everyone could have done with a good start to the second day. Especially the umpires.

The Australians kicked off proceedings swimmingly too. Michael Clarke and Steve Smith were untroubled in the early exchanges.

Hang on, Australia are making batting look this easy? Surely, it must have something to do with the pitch.

The overnight pair negotiated the first hour quite well.

Smith threw it away, though, swiping across the line with a century for the taking. Not the smartest shot in the circumstances.

Enter David Warner on Ashes debut. And in his first outing in England since the walkabout incident. The crowd welcomed him in expected fashion.

Trust an Australian to make even the English put aside county rivalries.

Warner departed soon in curious fashion, edging Graeme Swann to slip via Matt Prior's pad, and then reviewing the original decision. No luck. Out.

Brad Haddin played the sort of innings Australia might have expected from Warner. He was positive from the outset, and quickly wrested back initiative lost on account of the two quick wickets. The wicketless Jimmy Anderson bore the brunt.

After bowling more than 50 overs in pursuit of his 200th Test wicket, Stuart Broad removed Michael Clarke, 13 short of his own 200.

And you wonder why Broad doesn't have too many fans.

Swann dismissed Peter Siddle cheaply to complete his five-for in an innings where England often looked like a one-man attack.

The wicket brought no joy for England. Mitchell Starc waded into the tiring attack, and put on some quick runs in Haddin's company.

Alas, these days there's no room for optimism in Australian cricket.

At 527 for 7, Clarke called his batsmen in giving England nearly a full session to play before stumps.

England began in jittery fashion. Nathan Lyon was into the attack early, and got Alastair Cook to edge an offbreak. It hit Haddin's pad, popped up precariously and then dropped short of a lunging Clarke at slip, who took an extra instant to move towards the ball.

Lyon came on. Shane Watson trundled in. Someone was feeling left out.

Watson did a good job, tying up Root with a series of maidens.

The pressure finally paid off, with Joe Root edging Siddle behind.

England sent out Tim Bresnan as nightwatchman. That didn't work out. Cue, the second instance of DRS comedy for the day. Bresnan was ruled out caught behind. He chose not to review it. Replays showed it was no where near batm and went off his trousers.

Cook wasn't at his best, but hung in there as England shut shop for the day.

England finished the day 475 runs behind. Another day dominated by Australia. Who knows where this could be going.

Nitin Sundar is social media manager at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Posted by   on (August 3, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

I lost it at ............Warner consoling Clarke. "Don't think he hit it, skip."

Posted by   on (August 2, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

At one stage, England were still trailing by more than 500 runs and what a surprise, only slip and a short leg for Lyon! Thank god, neither Clarke nor Ponting were Shane Warne's first test captains. All the best Mr.Nathan Lyon (rest of the Australian spinners!)

Posted by amk23 on (August 2, 2013, 21:08 GMT)

Not sure why Siddle bats above Starc. Then again, not sure why Watson or Warner do either .... LOL .. NICE ONE

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