Mitchell Johnson tormented England by taking seven wickets with some fearsome fast bowling on Saturday and Australia’s batsmen compounded the pressure by extending the lead to 530 runs with two days remaining in the second Ashes Test.
It was a hectic third day at the Adelaide Oval with 12 wickets tumbling after England resumed at 35-1 and was skittled for 172 in reply to Australia’s first innings of 570-9 declared. Johnson took 7-40, including a withering spell of 5-12 in 18 balls.
After electing not to enforce the follow-on, Australia slipped to 4-2, with Jimmy Anderson dismissing Chris Rogers (2) and Shane Watson (0) within two balls in the third over, before recovering to reach stumps at 132-3.
David Warner was unbeaten on 83. He shared partnerships of 61 with Michael Clarke (22), who was bowled by Monty Panesar, and 67 with Steve Smith (23 not out).
Johnson’s spell starting the second over after lunch rocked England’s middle and lower order and was instrumental in giving the Australians a 398-run first innings lead.
Only Ian Bell (72 not out) and Michael Carberry (60) defied Johnson.
“The rhythm has just stuck with me,” Johnson said. “It means a lot to me to be able to play Test match cricket for Australia.
“Coming back from injury and plenty of people telling me I wasn’t going to play again, so it’s emotional for me.”
Johnson didn’t 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, only for Johnson to set up another tilt at that feat by claiming wickets on 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 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 bowled by Johnson.
Joe Root (15) faced 79 deliveries 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 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 but he only succeeded in pulling a Shane Watson delivery to David Warner, who took a spectacular low catch on his left at square-leg.
Australia — 1st innings: 570 for nine 9 decl.
England — 1st innings: Alastair Cook b Johnson 3, Michael Carberry c Warner b Watson 60, Joe Root c Rogers b Lyon 15, Kevin Pietersen c Bailey b Siddle 4, Ian Bell (not out) 72, Ben Stokes lbw b Johnson 1, Matt Prior c Haddin b Johnson 0, Stuart Broad b Johnson 0, Graeme Swann c Clarke b Johnson 7, James Anderson b Johnson 0, Monty Panesar b Johnson 2, Extras (lb-3, w-2, nb-3) 8; Total (in 68.2 overs) 172.
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-57, 3-66, 4-111, 5-117, 6-117, 7-117, 8-135, 9-135.
Australia bowling: Johnson 17.2-8-40-7, Harris 14-8-31-0, Lyon 20-5-64-1, Siddle 14-4-34-1, Watson 3-3-0-1.
Australia — 2nd innings: Chris Rogers c Prior b Anderson 2, David Warner (not out) 83, Shane Watson c Carberry b Anderson 0, Michael Clarke b Panesar 22, Steve Smith (not out) 23, Extras (b-1, lb-1) 2; Total (for three wkts in 39 overs) 132.
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-4, 3-65.
England bowling: Anderson 7-1-19-2, Broad 6-0-19-0, Swann 9-3-31-0, Stokes 7-3-20-0, Panesar 10-0-41-1.