It would be no understatement to say England’s innings came crashing down around their ears as they were left on 189 for 6 at tea.
Peter Siddle was at the centre of Australia’s success. Following an average spell early in the day, he came back after lunch to claim five wickets for fifty runs, eking out four maidens from his 14 overs.
First he took Peitersen, who edged a forward defensive shot to Clarke at second slip. Trott went next, he played on after flashing at a widish deliver. It was a significant knock for England, Trott had looked in sterling touch throughout his innings.
Bell, who has come into the test under some pressure, after mutterings that despite his natural talent, the England number five is has flakey tendencies and is prone to join a collapse in progress.
Brad Haddin attempted a cheap stumping of Bell, stumping the Englishman well after he’d taken the delivery as Bell was turning in his crease.
But the Baggy Greens didn’t have to wait long for Bell’s wicket. The Warwickshire man gave his critics more to mutter about after he got out, playing at a ball he could have left, edging to Watson at second slip.
Bairstow immediately looked in good touch, but the potential of a partnership with Matt Prior was dashed almost instantly after the wicketkeeper blasted a loose delivery right into the mits of Hughes at forward point.
Siddle will be celebrating at tea, as will Michael Clarke, whose shrewd captaincy has managed to change the momentum of the England innings.
Any complacency in amongst England fans is surely ebbing away.
England 189 / 6
|Cook||c Haddin||b Pattinson||13|
|Pietersen||c Clarke||b Siddle||14|
|Bell||c Watson||b Siddle||25|
|Prior||c Hughes||b Siddle||1|
|Extras||2nb 8w 6b 5lb||21|