Johnson tears through England


England collapsed to a feeble 94 for eight – in response to Australia's 295 all out – at tea on day two of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday.

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson promised plenty of aggression in the build-up to the first Ashes Test, duly delivering a slew of bouncers – and four key wickets – to have England all out for a mere 136 on day two at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Opening batsmen David Warner and Chris Rogers then led a strong reply, carrying the hosts to a total of 65 without loss , a fat lead of 224 – and the promise of plenty more come an intriguingly poised weekend.

Friday started with the Aussies' obligatory pursuit of a 300-plus tally, which ultimately fell short by five runs. Fast bowler Stuart Broad had no trouble in ending tail-ender Ryan Harris' stay to complete a six-wicket haul, while wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin's quest for a century resulted in a run-out for 94.

The hosts, sporting a new opening alliance in captain Alastair Cook and the recalled Michael Carberry, enjoyed a solid start in reply. Johnson and fellow new-ball bowler Harris, however, gradually found a threatening, collective groove.

The combination soon tolled, as Harris had Cook hole out to Haddin and Johnson orchestrated the same to the right-handed Jonathan Trott. Two wickets down before the lunch break, England had plenty of hard graft ahead.

That steely requirement never materialised, as Johnson – alongside right-armer Harris and slow bowler Nathan Lyon – ripped through the visiting order on demand. The veteran Kevin Pietersen's first innings in his 100th Test match didn't amount to much, Carberry's defiance ended on 40, the in-form Ian Bell was cramped for room and vice-captain Matt Prior endured a first-ball duck. The demoted Joe Root's technique, meanwhile, was found entirely wanting.

The visitors, in fact, fell from a 87 for two to 91 for eight before the tea interval. Australia were elated – and sensed the opportunity to potentially have the opposition follow on. Aspiring all-rounder Stuart Broad and tail-ender Chris Tremlett held on for long enough, though. Broad copped a barrage of short deliveries, attacking some but ducking under most.

His courage in the line of fire brought a tidy cameo of 32, and at least forced an otherwise humiliating final score well into three figures. Broad then assumed his primary role, but couldn't force a breakthrough. Warner and Rogers were unwavering en route to 45 not out and 15 not out respectively.

Inclement weather, unfortunately, has been forecast for Saturday. Hopefully, this steers clear of the Gabba – and affords a stellar contest three more outstanding sessions of Ashes cricket.