Brisbane - Australia claimed six English wickets for nine runs in an astonishing
comeback on the second day of the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba on
Michael Clarke's team had the tourists reeling at 94 for
eight at tea in reply to their first innings 295 after a spectacular
collapse in the middle session.
England lost six wickets for 39 runs after going into lunch at 55 for two.
Mitchell Johnson was the destroyer with his hostile pace snaring four
for 46, while Ryan Harris and Nathan Lyon each grabbed two wickets.
the interval, England trailed Australia by 201 runs with only two
wickets left in a stunning reversal of fortunes after Australia had
struggled on Thursday's opening day.
At tea, Stuart Broad was four not out with Chris Tremlett on one.
wicket of Kevin Pietersen for 18 triggered the collapse for England who
seemed unable to stem the tide against a fired-up home attack.
Pietersen, playing his 100th Test, was dropped on eight in a sharp caught and bowled chance by Peter Siddle in the 25th over.
were pinned down for 13 dot balls before Pietersen lost concentration
and flicked Harris off his pads to mid-wicket where debutant George
Bailey accepted a fine catch.
Johnson struck again three overs
later when he set up Michael Carberry with some short deliveries before
getting him to edge to Shane Watson at second slip for 40 off 113 balls.
Then off-spinner Nathan Lyon struck, removing the dangerous Ian Bell (5) and Matt Prior (0) with consecutive deliveries.
Smith took a bat-pad catch to dismiss Bell, the man of the last series
in England, and took a magnificent sprawling catch again next ball to
send Matt Prior on his way after a DRS review for a duck.
Aleem Dar did not give Prior out but skipper Michael Clarke sought a
review and replays showed the ball coming off Prior's bat on to his
thigh to give Smith the catch.
Ashes villain Broad came out to
loud boos and did not need to offer a shot to Lyon's hat-trick ball to
see off the threat. But Joe Root was the seventh wicket to fall in the
Root played away from his body and nicked to third
slip, where Smith took his third catch in two overs to leave England
shellshocked at 89 for seven.
Graeme Swann was next to go, caught close in by Bailey off Johnson.
Before lunch Australia removed England skipper Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott cheaply.
coaxed an edge off Cook to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 13 and Johnson
followed up snaring the wicket of Trott, who tickled one down the
leg-side to Haddin for 10.
The first innings by Australia,
defending a 25-year unbeaten record at the famous Brisbane ground, ended
on 295 when Haddin was run out chasing a century.
wicketkeeper, 78 not out overnight, attempted a risky second run on 94
but was beaten by Carberry's throw from deep point to Prior behind the
Broad, England's hero of the first day, walked off the
Gabba holding the match ball aloft in tribute to his six for 81 off 24
Australia, who have not lost at the venue since falling to
the West Indies in 1988, are bidding to avoid losing four Ashes series
in a row for the first time in 123 years.