Australia’s fragile middle order misfired as England fought back on the second day of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

home side, cruising at 1-96 at lunch on Friday, lost 4-47 in 20 overs
with skipper Ricky Ponting (10), an injured Michael Clarke (9) and Marcus North (1) all failing in quick succession.

Like so
often before, their dismissals undid the good work of openers Shane
Watson and Simon Katich, who built a strong foundation with a 78-run
stand to have Australia in control in reply to England’s below-par 260.

Swing spearhead James Anderson (2-40) and beanpole
Steven Finn (2-61) did the bulk of the damage before Graham Swann
returned from an early pasting to have North caught at slip.

The collapse started when Ponting tickled a leg-side catch behind off Anderson second ball after lunch.

Hussey, who came to Australia’s rescue with an unbeaten 81 to have them
5-220 at stumps, admitted the continued batting slumps had prompted the
top six to address the issue in the lead-up to the five-Test series.

part of the game really, we try not to lose wickets in clumps but
England had a very good period with the ball there,” Hussey said.

“We were a little bit unlucky too with Ricky caught down the leg-side and they got a bit of a spark there.

“I guess it’s still a work in progress. We will still concentrate on it and hopefully do it better in the future.”

Hussey’s unbroken 77-run partnership with Brad Haddin (22 not out) stopped the rot and swung the pendulum back Australia’s way.