ADELAIDE: Mitchell Johnson grabbed seven wickets with some fearsome fast bowling to skittle England for 172 on Saturday and give Australia a 398-run lead halfway through the five scheduled days in the second Ashes test.
After resuming day three at 35-1 in reply to Australia´s 570-9 declared, England struggled to 116-4 at lunch.
Worse was to come when Johnson triggered the collapse in his second over after the interval and finished with 7-40, including a spell of 5-12 in 18 balls.
Only Ian Bell (72 not out) and Michael Carberry (60) defied Johnson. It was the third straight innings in this series that England has failed to reach 200, with Johnson´s pace proving just as effective on the slower Adelaide Oval pitch as it was when he took nine wickets in the 381-run victory in the first test at Brisbane.
Michael Clarke did not enforce the follow-on, careful not to over-exert his pacemen with only a three-day break between the Adelaide match and the third test in Perth.
Johnson, who was not considered good enough for selection for the last Ashes tour to England, where Australia lost 3-0, rattled the touring batsmen and was twice on a hat-trick.
He opened his ledger at Adelaide by clean bowling England skipper Alastair Cook (3) shortly after Australia declared its innings late Friday.Johnson did not take a wicket in the morning session but was devastating in the middle session, producing a triple wicket-maiden in his second over; trapping Ben Stokes (1) lbw and then snaring Matt Prior (0) caught behind and scattering Stuart Broad´s (0) stumps on the fifth and sixth deliveries. No. 9 Graeme Swann prevented the hat trick by hitting to legside for three. There was little respite, though, as Johnson set up another hat-trick with the last two balls of his next over: Swann slashed to second slip where Michael Clarke took a sharp catch, and Jimmy Anderson had his stumps rattled next ball as England slid to 135-9.
Bell blocked the hat-trick ball, looping it out toward the covers, and then went on the attack to score quick runs with No.11 Monty Panesar at the other end.
The England No. 5 took 18 runs off an over from Ryan Harris, hitting three fours to raise his 50 and England´s 150 then pulling a six in front of the Sir Donald Bradman Pavilion.
They put on 37 for the last wicket before Panesar was clean bowled by Johnson coming back into the attack.
Where Johnson was near unplayable in the middle session, it was some England batting lapses which caused the damage in the morning.
Joe Root (15) faced 79 deliveries in almost two hours before sweeping the first ball he faced from Nathan Lyon directly to Chris Rogers at deep backward square to make the score 57-2. Kevin Pietersen (4) didn´t wait to get settled. He was beaten between bat and body by Peter Siddle and then, trying to stamp some authority, walked into the next ball and chipped a catch to short mid-wicket where George Bailey took a juggling catch on the third grab.
Bell and Carberry then knuckled down and looked like steering England to lunch without further damage but some sustained tight bowling by Harris and Watson — producing four straight maiden overs — prompted Carberry to fatefully try to break the shackles.
The 33-year-old had been making the most of the loose balls, stroking 10 boundaries mostly square of the wicket, but was out just before lunch pulling a Shane Watson delivery to David Warner, who took a spectacular low catch on his left at square leg. (AP)