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Wickets, wickets and more wickets – that’s what a second record crowd in as many days were treated to on the second day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

There’s a lot to be said for the fighting spirit of a British Bulldog. Finally, after the best part of two week’s worth of Ashes cricket in the white-hot crucible of an Australian summer, Alistair Cook and his team have stood up.

Sure, the urn is already out of their grasp, but the English showed today that there’s no such thing as a ‘dead rubber’ in an Ashes series. How different it could all have been! Day two of the Boxing Day Test started much the same way as the first – the fearsome bristles of Mitchell Johnson’s moustache celebrating an English tail end collapse. He removed Bresnan in his first over, Pietersen in his second and Broad two overs later to pick up his third five-wicket haul of the series and England reeled to being all out for 255.

As England’s bowling group trudged out to the centre to begin the second innings, the skies above the MCG – leaden and overcast all morning – suddenly burst into glorious sunshine. It was surprising that Cook didn’t begin furiously shaking his fist at the heavens and the fickle whims of the cricketing Gods. Yet, Australia’s innings never really got going. David Warner was the first out, looping a miscued pull shot straight into the air off the bowling of Anderson for 9.


Australia teetering after England seize the initiative with the ball: Day Two of the Boxing Day Test.
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