Ashes - England collapse and set Australia 231

Day two, fourth Ashes Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground - England 1st innings 255 (Pietersen 71, Johnson 5-63), Australia 1st innings 204 (Haddin 65, Anderson 4-67), England second innings 179 (Cook 51, Lyon 5-50). Australia second innings 30-0. They require another 201 to win and take a 4-0 lead in the series.

Australia ended day three of the fourth Test on 30-0, requiring another 201 runs to win after England collapsed to 179 all out in their second innings.

Australia resumed their first innings on 164-9 in the morning, and were eventually bowled out for 204 after some fine play by Brad Haddin, who was dismissed in the end by James Anderson after top-edging to Jonny Bairstow.

England openers Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry made a solid start to their second innings, but Cook was trapped LBW by Mitchell Johnson for 51. Carberry followed shortly afterwards, trapped by Peter Siddle, then Joe Root was run out, going for a suicidal single to Johnson at mid-off. Ian Bell then got himself out, chipping a simple catch to Johnson off the bowling of Nathan Lyon.

Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes seemed to steady England's ship a little, but after Stokes holed out to long-off and Bairstow went after making a brisk 21, carnage ensued. The last five wickets fell for six runs, after Tim Bresnan chopped on, Stuart Broad edged to slip, Pietersen skied an aggressive shot down long-off's throat then Monty Panesar was trapped LBW.

Australia were set a target of 231 to take a 4-0 lead in the series, and they survived to the close of play without losing a wicket, with Chris Rogers and David Warner steering them to 30-0 at stumps, leaving them with a further 201 to win.


Cow Corner: Nothing nostalgic about England's collapses

The View From Down Under: Australia start to wonder how good they are


204 all out - WICKET! Haddin finally goes after a frustrating morning for England, top-edging off Jimmy Anderson and Bairstow takes a simple catch.

LUNCH - England reach the interval unscathed, at 54-0.

65-1 - WICKET! England skipper Alastair Cook goes, trapped LBW by a full and quick Mitchell Johnson ball that just tailed in with a bit of reverse swing.

86-2 - WICKET! Carberry's stilted innings ends with an LBW that would have just clipped leg-stump off Peter Siddle.

86-3 - WICKET! Root is run-out going for a ludicrous single, and Johnson throws him out from mid-off.

87-4 - WICKET! Another one down! Bell goes first ball, spooning a dreadful shot straight to Johnson at mid-off, Lyon taking the wicket.

TEA - England end the afternoon session on 115-4.

131-5 - WICKET! Stokes goes for a big shot down the ground off Lyon, but doesn't get all of it and Smith takes the catch halfway back to the long-off boundary.

173-6 - WICKET! Bairstow wafts at a full wide one and nicks it through to the keeper off Johnson.

174-7 - WICKET! Bresnan chops onto the top of off-stump, doesn't seem to know what happened but he has to go.

174-8 - WICKET! A dreadful shot by Broad, as he edges Lyon to Clark at slip, and England are in deep trouble.

179-9 - WICKET! Pietersen had little option but to attack, but he skies a ball from Lyon straight down Harris' throat at long-off, and that's five wickets for Lyon.

179 all out - WICKET! Panesar is trapped LBW, and despite a speculative review, he is given out and that's the end of the innings.


The non-wagging tail - Of course, it is not the job of the bowlers to score runs, and if a team starts to rely on their bottom five, then they have some problems. Australia might find that out when they face South Africa, but England are discovering it now. The likes of Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan are routinely either very generously described as all-rounders or 'no mugs' with the bat. At the moment, they are showing that mugs is a perfectly reasonable description.


Alastair Cook reached 8,000 Test runs during the morning session, becoming the youngest man to reach that landmark.

He is not the quickest man to reach that number, though. Kumar Sangakkara holds that honour, scoring his 8,000th run in his 152nd innings. Cook is 18th on the lists, having taken 181 innings to get there.

England lost their final five wickets for six runs.


"I think people shouldn't forget, and it's never been done before, that guys have got to go and endure 10 back-to-back Ashes Test matches. I've been told that a number of Olympic athletes go into some sort of post-Olympic depression or a negative frame of mind – and I'm not saying we're in a depression or a negative frame of mind – but after you've competed at such a level, post that competition, mentally you're a bit fragile. To play an Ashes then another Ashes, and for us being away from home, it's a tough gig" - Kevin PIetersen.