Pacer Mitchell claims three wickets while Siddle take two to dismantle hosts for 107-8 on Day Two at the Oval
London: England’s hopes of a glorious finale to the 2015 Ashes were in tatters after an alarming collapse on Day Two of the fifth Investec Test at The Oval.
Mitchell Marsh successfully appeals for the wicket of England’s Joe Root. Pic/AFP
Australia piled up 481 all out, thanks to an 11th Test century from captain-in-waiting Steve Smith (143), and then the hosts surrendered on a fair pitch as all-rounder Mitch Marsh took a career-best three for 18 in a sorry stumps total of 107 for eight.
England started this final match of the series with the Ashes in the bag, and aspirations of a fourth Test victory over Australia in a home summer for the first time.
Poor day for England
But after following one poor day with a miserable one, the mission has become highly improbable for Alastair Cook’s team. Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Steven Finn eventually shared nine wickets - but Stuart Broad followed his brilliant career-best eight for 15 at Trent Bridge with a back-to-reality none for 59 after Cook had put Australia in.
England’s response needed solidity, and established none before Nathan Lyon became the first Australia bowler to have his say on the stroke of tea. Peter Siddle, curiously in his first match of a series played on surfaces which might easily have rewarded his relentless seam and swing, then took centre stage.
Cook was bowled off-stump by Lyon’s final ball of the afternoon, an off-break which turned sharply from round the wicket. Adam Lyth opened the door to more trouble with an ill-executed pull to Siddle’s second delivery, resulting in a catch at mid-on.
Joe Root cut his first ball from Siddle for four but was soon stuck in attempted survival mode as he and Ian Bell tried to scramble a foothold.
DRS helps Australia
Neither managed it, Bell losing his off-bail to a perfect ball from Siddle and Root going caught-behind to Marsh when Australia overturned a not-out verdict via the tightest of DRS calls. Jonny Bairstow committed the second faulty Yorkshire pull of the evening, off the returning Mitchell Johnson, and Jos Buttler was bowled through the gate driving at Lyon. Earlier, Smith was Australia’s cornerstone with the bat, with Adam Voges (76) and Mitchell Starc (58) helping out with contrasting half-centuries. The tourists’ No 3 resumed on 78 and moved to his hundred.
Australia 481 (S Smith 143, D Warner 85, A Voges 76; S Finn 3-90) lead England 107-8 (A Cook 22; M Marsh 3-18,
P Siddle 2-18) by 374 runs
England vs Australia, Day Three: Star Sports 1 and HD 1, 15:30