Great escape inspires superb England

JAMES ANDERSON revealed a desire not to waste their ‘get-out- of-jail’ card was behind England’s dominant display in the second npower Ashes Test at Lord’s yesterday.

Anderson, whose defiant innings was a crucial ingredient of escaping Cardiff with a dramatic draw last Sunday, starred with both bat and ball as Australia closed the second day on 156 for eight, still 70 runs short of avoiding the follow-on.

The 26-year-old claimed four for 36, his best Ashes figures, after hitting an eye-catching 29 and sharing in a 47-run alliance for the 10th wicket with Graham Onions.

“Everyone wanted to start afresh here,” said Anderson.

“We used the fact we got out of jail a little bit in Cardiff and are still in the series at 0-0. We knew we had to take advantage of that.

“We didn’t want to waste getting a draw out of that game by coming here and not performing.”

Although England lost three wickets in as many overs at the start of a rain-affected day, they were on top from then onwards. Anderson crashed five fours, all off the misfiring Mitchell Johnson, and Onions weighed in with an unbeaten 17.

“It certainly gave the team a bit of momentum,” said Anderson.

“One thing we spoke about this morning was to get to 400 and the partnership at the end got us there.

“It gave us a bit of extra momentum and confidence and we started well with the ball.

“We knew there was a little bit in the pitch for us and if we asked enough questions of their batsmen there would be reward for us. Anyone is vulnerable when the ball is moving around. It is nice to see the ball moving laterally but it just did enough and sometimes that can work just as well as if it is hooping around corners.”

Bowling in tandem with the equally impressive Andrew Flintoff, Anderson had, by lunch, sent back Phillip Hughes, from a glove down the leg-side, and Ricky Ponting via a controversial decision from Rudi Koertzen.

South African umpire Koertzen, standing in his 100th Test, referred an appeal for a catch when the ball squeezed past the inside edge and to slip via the batsman’s pads.

Television replays showed no contact had been made with bat and Ponting was justifiably leg before wicket.

“I was originally going up for lbw, I knew there were two noises there and the umpire gave it caught because he obviously thought the other noise was the bat,” Anderson explained.

“I wasn’t going up for the catch, the other guys were going up for that.”

Half of the Australian wickets were from attempted cross-bat shots and Anderson added: “A couple of their guys we target with the short ball and a couple of them we just bowled quite tightly at.

“Certainly with Marcus North, we dried him up for runs and he ended up playing a false shot. Our plans in general pretty much worked out.”

Michael Hussey, who hit a half-century, misjudged a delivery from Flintoff and had off-stump knocked back.

“I wasn’t confused,” insisted Hussey. “I was clear in my mind exactly how I was going to get through but it was a good spell.

“It was a good battle, I was enjoying the battle and I was determined to get through him.

“The ball I got out to I can still see clearly in my mind. He gets quite a lot of bounce so I thought if the ball did move it would move back down the hill and away from the stumps but unfortunately I judged wrong.”

Now Australia must emulate the scrapping qualities they showed in stalemate in south Wales.

“We watched England fight their way out of a pretty big hole down in Cardiff and we’ve got to show a similar type of resolve,” Hussey, who shared a 93-run stand with Simon Katich for the third wicket, said.

“We’ve got two batters left and it’s important we try and scrape our way past the follow-on first and even just make their bowlers bowl more overs and try and wear them out a little bit more.”

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