Despite losing 3 wickets before stumps, England remain firmly in the driving seat.
Day 2 final Session summary - Australia 32-3 (12 overs) England 31-3 (20 overs)
The final session of the day was much like an after party following the main event for England. Having reduced the Australians to 96-7, they were looking to wrap things up quickly. James Anderson arrived fashionably late to that after party, taking the wicket of Peter Siddle. Jimmy was in a generous mood as he let his best friend have the limelight for the day. The Rogers dismissal in the last session had suggested that lady luck may well be on Graemme Swann's side, and so it proved in the last session.
Firstly Brad Haddin's poorly executed slog sweep resulted in a top edge to a redeemed JonathanTrott at slip. The England no.3 had earlier dropped a dolly against Khawaja off the the same bowler. That left Swann one away from the Lord's honours board, with 4 wickets to his name. He did his best to avoid the glory soon afterwards as he dropped a simple return catch from Ryan Harris. However, he wasn't to be denied for much longer. He eventually did prize out the wicket of Harris to complete his 16th five wicket haul for England. Australia were bowled out for 128 and England decided not to enforce the follow on.
As Cook and Root strolled onto the luscious green Lord's outfield, losing three wickets was definitely not in the script. Peter Siddle however writes his own scripts as England found out. Michael Clarke surprised everyone by choosing Shane Watson as Ryan Harris' opening partner and it nearly paid off. Watson bowled a tight opening spell, nearly trapping Cook in almost identical fashion to his dismissal in the first innings. A slightly shorter length saved the England captain but his fortune would prove short lived. Siddle's introduction brought instant rewards for Australia. In a fantastic spell of fast bowling the vicious vegan bowled 5 overs, 3 maidens and finished the day on 3-4, to leave England stunned, on 31-3. Cook and Trott both played on to deliveries that were quicker than either batsmen anticipated, whilst KP played and missed a few before mistiming a drive straight to point.
Despite late evening heroics from Siddle, England's stack of chips is still healthy in the form of 264 runs thanks to that incredible session after lunch where they took 6 for 54.
Man of the session
Peter Siddle:Like defeating an end of level boss in a 90's arcade game, Siddle blew away a large chunk of the England batting order within 5 overs. Had Cook, Trott or Pitersen remained at the crease tomorrow morning, only a brave man/woman would bet against one of them scoring a big hundred for England. Thanks to Siddle that won't happen. Swann was in contention after his two wickets to claiim the 5-fer but Siddle took three prized English scalps, meaning his impact in this session was more significant.
A Duck finally Trotts along: So successful has Jonathan Trott been recently, we expect him to score like he's a cyborg run machine. With three days remaining this situation was made for him to compile a huge innings and a cheeky bet on him scoring a daddy hundred on day 3 would've been a good bet. It wasn't to be, he departed for a six ball duck. His wicket was a massive blow for England, to expect Ian Bell to score another big hundred tomorrow is a big ask.
Day of drops
Dropped catches are part and parcel of the game regardless of level of cricket. However it is rare to see relatively easy catches dropped in tests, yet that's exactly what happened today on no less than three occasions. Trott was the first culprit dropping Khawaja off the bowling of Swann. A standard edge, the ball's trajectory could not have been more perfect arrowing into Trott's cupped hands. He somehow managed to crocodile clip the ball onto the turf as the Lord's crowd looked on in disbelief. Swann was the culprit from a caught and bowled chance offered by Harris, which was not as easy but extremely catchable.
Luckily for England the drop catches didn't have a significant impact on their day. Australia on the other hand missed a chance that nearly had England in even deeper trouble. Shane Watson was the unlucky bowler who got Root fishing outside off stump on the back foot. The edge traveled at a comfortable catching height to Clarke at first slip. A slight movement from Haddin however put off the Australian captain as he froze and watched the ball pierce the tiny gap between himself and the wicket keeper to the boundry for four.
End of day verdict
A staggering 16 wickets fell in one day, a bizarre occurrence given the ideal batting conditions.The Australians may have edged the final session with three key wickets at the end, but England are firmly on top in this game. They bowled out Australia inside 54 overs for 128. That's good enough to win most Test matches. Which means Australia will have to produce an epic performance to prevent themselves going 2-0 down in the series.