Johnson helps Aussies to 2-0 lead

15Jan

Johnson’s rapid-fire 43 not out helped Australia to 8-249 in an innings where Callum Ferguson again top-scored with 55.

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Johnson also claimed two wickets as the tourists bowled England out for 210 with 23 balls to spare.

“We’re in a pretty good place at the moment,” Johnson said. “It was great to get a few runs… there was a few shots I tried that I’ve been practicing.”

Johnson faced just 23 deliveries for his score and he took 2-50 off nine overs as Australia’s bowlers combined to halt England just as they were looking capable of reaching the target.

Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken and Shane Watson chimed in with two wickets apiece.

England ‘architects of own downfall’

England captain Andrew Strauss said his team’s batting let them down again, as it did during the four-run loss in the first match of the seven-game series.

“We were in a great position to really come home quite comfortably, but to a certain extent we were the architects of our own downfall,” Strauss said.

“Three reasonably soft wickets in a short space of time and suddenly we’re in that situation where you’re asking the bowlers to score runs for you, which is not really what we want to be doing.”

With openers Strauss (47) and Bopara (27) looking dangerous, Watson came into the attack with immediate effect.

He trapped Bopara with his fifth ball and in his next over had Matt Prior caught behind by Tim Paine for one.

Strauss fell next spooning a Nathan Hauritz delivery back to the bowler to put England at 3-85.

Swann, Sidebottom bowled cheaply

While Australia had Ferguson and Cameron White to settle their innings after losing their top order in similar circumstances, England’s wickets continued to tumble at a steady pace.

Owais Shah (12) hesitated after being called through for a run by Paul Collingwood and by the time he made it to the other end, Michael Clarke had thrown the stumps.

Johnson trapped Eoin Morgan (14) lbw and Lee had Luke Wright (20) caught by Paine to give Australia the edge.

Johnson combined with Paine to dismiss Tim Bresnan (five) and Bracken’s return in the closing stages proved decisive.

He bowled Graeme Swann and Ryan Sidebottom cheaply to leave England needing 46 off the last six overs with no wickets in hand.

Collingwood resisted, but when Lee bowled him for 56, James Anderson was stranded on nought.

Flintoff suffers DVT after surgery

Ferguson anchored Australia’s innings for the second time in as many matches, going in with his team wobbling at 3-73.

He took just 58 balls to reach his score before being bowled by Anderson in the 45th over.

The right-hander was his team’s leading run-scorer with a career-high 71 not out off 75 in the series opener.

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff suffered a minor deep vein thrombosis in his right calf as a complication of undergoing knee surgery immediately after the fifth Ashes Test.

The England Wales Cricket Board said Flintoff, who retired from Test cricket following his team’s 2-1 series victory, would need “a simple course of treatment” and his recovery would not be affected.

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