England will resume at 29-0 on day two of the third Ashes cricket Test after vindicating Andrew Strauss’s decision to bowl first in Perth by dismissing Australia for 268.
Recalled fast bowler Chris Tremlett, playing his first Test since 2007, took 3-63 yesterday at the WACA Ground and James Anderson claimed 3-61 after returning to the U.K. for the birth of his second child in between matches.
The touring team took the initiative after Strauss gave his bowlers first use of a green-tinged pitch and the England openers consolidated the advantage by batting through the 12 overs until stumps. A victory would give England an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the best-of-five contest.
“It was a great last half an hour there, the guys fought hard there to fight off the new ball, which is key,” Tremlett told reporters. “We will look to bat time and get a healthy lead and enough to go out there and bowl them out again.”
England bowled Australia out for 245 in its first innings in the second match in Adelaide before completing an innings and 71-run victory to go 1-0 up. As Ashes holders, the English would retain the trophy by tying the series.
Spin bowler Graeme Swann and seamer Steven Finn chipped in with two wickets each yesterday. Mitchell Johnson top-scored for Australia with 62, with Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin also making half-centuries.
Australia’s lower order lifted the score past 250 after the home team had slumped to 69-5 shortly after the lunch break.
Haddin counterattacked with half-century partnerships with Hussey and Johnson and last-wicket pair Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus added 35 runs off 33 balls.
Hussey, Australia’s leading run scorer in the series, scored 61 before edging Swann behind to Matt Prior to end his 68-run stand with Haddin. The wicketkeeper-batsman shared 52 runs with Johnson for the seventh wicket before getting out for 53 when driving at an Anderson delivery outside off stump. Anderson then clean bowled Ryan Harris for 3.
Johnson, dropped for the second Test after going wicket-less in the series opener, struck nine boundaries in his innings, which ended when he pulled a Finn delivery straight to Anderson fielding at square leg to make it 233-9. Swann wrapped up the innings by having Hilfenhaus caught by Alastair Cook at short leg.
Cook, who scored 450 in the opening two matches, will resume day two on 17, with Strauss on 12.
Hussey praised Tremlett’s performance.
“He hit the seam a lot. In the first session, he got it to seam both ways, which is quite a challenge to play,” Hussey said. “He seemed very well-controlled in his emotions out there, very clear in his game plan and determined to do well.”
The 6-foot-7 (2 meter) Tremlett earlier capitalized on his recall in place of the injured Stuart Broad by bowling opener Phillip Hughes for 2 in his first over. Hughes had replaced the injured Simon Katich atop Australia’s batting order.
Ricky Ponting counterattacked with three boundaries before edging an Anderson delivery to Paul Collingwood, who leapt into the air to take a one-handed diving catch and remove the Australian captain for 12. Ponting had said it was time for him to lead the way for his team with the bat.
Tremlett made it 28-3 when he got Michael Clarke to edge behind to give wicketkeeper Prior his 100th catch in Tests.
Shane Watson made 13 before Finn trapped him leg-before-wicket with a delivery that struck the batsman’s toe, and Tremlett’s third wicket saw Steven Smith edge to slip to leave Australia at 69-5.
Tremlett said he’d had “a little bit of frustration” at being out of the England Test side for three years.
“I always had the aspirations to play for England again, so it’s great for me to get the chance,” Tremlett said. “I was desperate to play in any Test, but this wicket has bounced and I hope it’s proved to be the right selection. It was the most special game I’ve played in, an amazing atmosphere.”
The Surrey bowler’s inclusion was the only change to the England lineup from the first two matches, while Australia opted for the four-man pace attack of Johnson, Harris, Hilfenhaus and Siddle. They’ll be supported by all-rounders Watson and Smith, with specialist spinner Michael Beer left out.
The Australians, who entered the match on a five-Test winless run, have won the past five Ashes Tests at the WACA, where England has one victory in 11 previous attempts.