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Siddle double rocks England

By Chris Devine at Emirates Old Trafford and Glen Robertson

Peter Siddle struck two late blows to keep Australia in the ascendancy on day two of the third Investec Ashes Test.

Needing to win at Emirates Old Trafford if they are to have any chance of reclaiming the little urn, the tourists declared at 527 for seven on the back of Michael Clarke’s superb 187.

Alastair Cook and Joe Root shared a patient stand of 47 in reply, but the latter and nightwatchman Tim Bresnan were each caught behind off Siddle prior to England closing 475 behind on 52 for two.

Clarke’s partnership with Steven Smith, worth 174 overnight, reached 214 this morning before the latter fell for 89 and further impetus was provided by Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc, who finished unbeaten on 65 and 66 respectively.

On a firm track offering turn and bounce, Graeme Swann was the pick of England’s attack with 5-159 - his 17th five-wicket haul in Tests. Stuart Broad, meanwhile, was able to celebrate his 200th format wicket when Clarke eventually played on to one that jagged back sharply from short of a length.

Australia’s declaration left England with a maximum of 32 overs to bat on day two – all bar a couple were completed - and progress proved slow in the face of disciplined bowling.

Root faced 57 deliveries for his eight, while Cook - reprieved on 15 when an edge off the impressive Nathan Lyon deflected off Haddin’s leg before dropping short of slip - was unbeaten on 36 from 99 when stumps were drawn.

On another warm day in Manchester, Australia resumed on 303 for three and faced few problems in a sedate opening hour.

However, Clarke was lucky not to fall for 136 when Swann failed to take a sharp chance above his head at short cover off Bresnan.

Having enjoyed a degree of good fortune yesterday, Smith appeared solid as he closed in on a maiden Test century.

It was something of a surprise, therefore, when he departed tamely to Swann, top-edging an attempted heave over the leg side to midwicket.

After Clarke had moved past 150 with the first of three successive fours off Bresnan, Swann struck again by having David Warner caught at slip for five via a deflection off wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Bizarrely, Warner opted to waste his side’s last review, even though he had clearly edged the ball.

Haddin played positively from the off, but received a let-off on 10 when Prior - seemingly wrong-footed by a bottom edge - spilled a low chance to his left.

England therefore had to wait until mid-afternoon to strike again through Broad’s dismissal of Clarke, who exited the field to a deserved standing ovation.

Swann completed his five-for in the next over, bowling Siddle as the batsman looked to slog-sweep.

Yet Australia soon regained the initiative thanks to a gem of a knock from Starc, who exhibited strength on the drive against spin and seam.

The number nine collected nine fours in 71 balls and overtook Haddin prior to Clarke’s declaration four overs into the evening session.

Starc duly shared the new ball with Ryan Harris, but it was not long before Lyon was introduced to Australia’s attack and the off-spinner almost struck with his third ball as Cook narrowly avoided falling in similar fashion to Warner.

Lyon continued to find plentiful turn as the evening wore on and runs proved particularly hard to come by for Root, who managed a solitary single from the first 40 deliveries he faced.

The Yorkshireman eventually picked up a boundary through midwicket off Siddle’s first delivery, but the paceman gained revenge by having Root caught behind playing back to one that straightened.

There was further success for Siddle before the close as Bresnan was also held by Haddin, although replays suggested the ball brushed the all-rounder’s trouser rather than bat.

In a tense final passage of play, Cook then came close to being run out and Jonathan Trott edged Siddle marginally short of second slip.

Match Scorecard

Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Evening Session

Highlights of a gripping final session on day two at Emirates Old Trafford, which saw England reach 52 for two

England Innings   

6:30pm - STUMPS - England 52/2; Cook 36, Trott 2 - Trott takes a single from the final over of the day and England close 475 runs adrift. Cook battled well for his 36 and will look to go on to a big score in the morning.

6:26pm - CHANCE - Warner has a shy at the stumps from square-leg but misses by the slimmest of margins. A direct hit and Cook would have been out. Siddle finds Trott's edge in the next over but the ball bounces just short of second slip.

6:18pm - WICKET! Bresnan c Haddin b Siddle 1; Eng 49/2 - Siddle strikes again as he successfully appeals for a catch behind. Bresnan thought long and hard about reviewing before walking off. Jonathan Trott comes to the crease with England two wickets down.

6:11pm - Australia have an attacking field for Bresnan, but the Yorkshireman gets off the mark with a flick to cover for a quick single. Australia bring Lyon back into the attack. The off-spinner caused problems in his first spell.

6pm - WICKET! Root c Haddin b Siddle 8; Eng 47/1 - Root's battling innings comes to an end after 57 balls as he edges behind off Siddle. Nightwatchman Tim Bresnan is the next man at the crease.

5:52pm - Root drives Peter Siddle to the midwicket boundary for his first four of the innings. There are 10 overs left to be bowled in the day, though it appears Harris will not be involved in them as he leaves the field for treatment.

5:34pm -  Harris returns to the attack as he replaces Starc at the Statham End and Cook welcomes him back with a clip through square leg for a couple of runs.

5:29pm - Starc concedes four leg byes with the last ball of his fifth over as England move to 28, and the players take a drinks break.

5:23pm -  Lyon continues to ask questions of the England batsmen with some dangerous bowling, but Cook and Root are standing firm.

5:15pm -  Cook ends a run of 19 dot balls with a single off Lyon. Root sees out the rest of the over as England reach 22 for no loss. Starc returns to the attack in place of Watson.

5:12pm - Australia's bowlers are keeping things tight at the moment and Watson bowls his third successive maiden. Root is not tempted by any of the deliveries outside his off stump.

4:52pm - MISSED CHANCE -  And Lyon almost strikes with his third ball! In an almost mirror image of David Warner's dismissal earlier, an edge from Cook bounces off wicketkeeper Brad Haddin's thigh and loops up into the air, but Clarke is unable to adjust quickly enough to take the catch. Shane Watson replaces Starc in the bowling attack.

4:50pm -  Michael Clarke has decided to change tactics and introduces off-spinner Nathan Lyon to bowl the seventh over.

4:43pm -  Root is off and running with a single to mid-on. England are 15 without loss.

4:32pm - The England captain registers the first boundary of the innings with a sweetly struck square drive before keeping the strike with a quick single off the final ball of Starc's opening over.

4:28pm -  Cook gets off the mark with a single to mid-on. Mitchell Starc will share the new cherry with Harris.

4:23pm - Alastair Cook and Joe Root enter the field ahead of England's response. A big final session in prospect and Ryan Harris will get us under way.

Australia Innings

4:14pm -  DECLARATION - Australia 527/7; Starc 66, Haddin 65 -  Michael Clarke calls his boys in after 20 runs were added in the four overs after tea.

4:03pm -  Starc gets a big top-edge which flies high into the air, only for the ball to drop safely in front of the on-rushing Joe Root at deep midwicket. Root will bowl the next over from the Statham End.

3:59pm -  Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc are on their way back to the middle after tea. Expect fireworks as they aim to add some more runs to their total before a possible declaration. Graeme Swann will bowl the first over of the session.

Afternoon Session

Watch highlights from the afternoon session where England finally dismissed Australia captain Michael Clarke after a wonderful ton

3:40pm - TEA - Aus 507/7; Haddin 57, Starc 54 -
Australia looked to be losing their way a little an hour ago, but Haddin and Starc have provided a very handy dose of impetus. It may not be long before Clarke declares.

3:38pm - FIFTY! Starc (53b 9x4 0x6) -  Australia go past 500 courtesy of another gorgeous drive from Starc, who then pulls Bresnan for four to bring up his third Test fifty. Well played young man.

3:32pm - Six fielders are placed on the fence for Haddin. England are seemingly looking to cut off the boundaries and delay an Australian declaration.

3:28pm - England's seamers drag their length back to prevent Starc swinging through the line. The 23-year-old boasts a Test best of 99 and has timed the ball extremely well in this knock.

3:16pm - Starc continues to excel on the drive, beating mid-on off James Anderson to reach 39 from as many balls.

3:11pm - FIFTY! Haddin (74b 5x4 0x6) - Following another clean hit down the ground from Starc, Haddin moves to 50.

3:04pm -  Starc drives Bresnan either side of point for four and three before bashing Swann for successive boundaries, down the ground and over the infield at midwicket. These are handy runs for Australia.

2:55pm -  Broad takes a well-deserved rest as Tim Bresnan enters the attack from the Statham End. If we are to get rain at some point today, it won’t be any time soon. The weather remains pleasant for the time being.

2:50pm -  Ouch! After clipping Swann past mid-on for four, Starc bunts a powerful drive straight into batting partner Haddin. Mercifully for the veteran, he was struck high on the leg. For a moment I thought the point of impact involved somewhere more delicate...

2:42pm - Those wickets were just what the doctor ordered from an England point of view. Cook's men will now hope to clean up the tail swiftly - something that has not proved easy for either team in this series - before batting big themselves. Broad keeps Mitchell Starc honest with a few short balls and it is time for a drink.

2:26pm - WICKET! Siddle b Swann 1; Aus 430/7 - And now Swann has five for the 17th time in Tests! With Australia clearly seeking to up the ante, Siddle aims a slog-sweep over cow corner but fails to connect and is cleaned up.

2:19pm - WICKET! Clarke b Broad 187; Aus 427/6 - Broad gets Test wicket number 200...and it's the big one too! Clarke's fantastic innings comes to an end as he plays on when attempting a guide down to third man. The ball nipped back sharply from short of a length and cramped Clarke.

2:17pm -  To their credit, England are preventing Australia from scoring too freely. The run-rate since lunch is a shade under four per over.

2:05pm -  The hosts could do with a spark here. Clarke and Haddin’s stand has passed 50 and both batsmen appear comfortable.

2pm - England's seamers were not particularly happy with the footholes yesterday ... and we have more repair work taking place out in the middle now.

1:56pm -  A square-driven three from Brad Haddin off Swann takes Australia to 400. The wicketkeeper-batsman then misses a bouncer from Broad before punching through cover for his fourth four. This pitch continues to look good.

1:48pm - Swann finds sharp turn from outside the right-hander's off stump with his second ball after lunch. Stuart Broad, who remains stuck on 199 Test wickets, is operating from the Statham End.

1:38pm - Alastair Cook leads England out for the second session of day two. The sun is now shining brightly and Graeme Swann has a five-wicket haul in his sights.

Morning Session

Highlights of the morning session on day two at Emirates Old Trafford

1pm - LUNCH - Aus 392/5; Clarke 168, Haddin 18 - England are unable to strike again prior to the interval, but will be pleased to have at least added to their wicket-tally this morning. Clarke continues to defy the hosts and will begin the afternoon session requiring 32 for a double-hundred.

12:47pm - Haddin takes the aerial route again facing Anderson and almost clears the rope at midwicket. With rain likely to interrupt this match at some point, Australia know they need to give themselves as much time as possible to try and force victory.

12:40pm - MISSED CHANCE - Haddin, on 10, is reprieved by his fellow wicketkeeper. A bottom edge off Anderson wrongfoots Prior and he is unable to cling on to a low one-handed chance.

12:33pm - With runs on the board, Brad Haddin is adopting an aggressive approach. Lofted fours off Swann and Anderson push Australia on to 374 for five.

12:25pm - WICKET! Warner c Trott b Swann 5; Aus 365/5 - Warner falls cheaply, much to the delight of the Emirates Old Trafford crowd! A thick edge deflects off Matt Prior and loops into the hands of Jonathan Trott at slip. For some bizarre reason, Warner opts to review after a lengthy discussion with Clarke. The decision proves misguided. Swann now has 4-89.

12:21pm - 150! Clarke (261b 21x4 0x6) - Clarke continues to attack Bresnan, striking successive fours past backward point, down the ground and through the covers. The first of those boundaries took him past 150.

12:18pm - This will be a good test for Warner, who is not accustomed to facing spin early in his innings. After Clarke survives an appeal for caught behind off Bresnan, Swann beats the new batsman's outside edge.

12:08pm - WICKET! Smith c Bairstow b Swann 89; Aus 343/4 - Smith throws away the chance to record his first Test ton! In Graeme Swann's first over of the day, the number five aims a big heave over the leg side and succeeds only in popping up a simple catch to Jonny Bairstow at midwicket. David Warner arrives at the crease to a chorus of boos.

12:01pm -  Clarke gets lucky again facing Bresnan. Attempting an expansive drive over mid-off, he fails to connect cleanly and only just clears Anderson. Time for a short break.

11:53am -  Remarkably Australia's last five stands of 200 or more - and nine of the previous 12 - have all involved Clarke. The tourists are 333 for three with drinks approaching.

11:44am - MISSED CHANCE AND 200 PARTNERSHIP -  Clarke drives aerially past short cover and almost picks out the deeper fielder. A similar shot follows from Tim Bresnan’s next delivery but Graeme Swann - stationed 10 to 15 yards from the bat - cannot hang on to a sharp chance above his head. A single duly brings up the 200 partnership and moves Clarke past his previous highest score against England, the 136 he made at Lord’s in 2009.

11:37am -  England go up for lbw when Anderson raps Smith on the pad, but their appeal is immediately rendered redundant as umpire Tony Hill signals a no-ball due to the bowler hitting the stumps at the non-striker’s end a la Steven Finn. I’m fairly sure that was sliding down the leg side anyhow.

11:27am - After another runless over from Broad, Clarke gets going for the day with a thick edge through gully off Anderson. His next shot - a back-foot punch between cover and point - is much more convincing and brings four more.

11:20am - A second maiden in a row keeps Australia on 312 for three. Clarke has yet to add to his overnight score.

11:13am -  Steven Smith’s highest Test score is 92, but he has a golden opportunity to surpass that today. Australia’s number five drives Anderson through cover for his eighth four and adds a single to reach 79.

11:09am - James Anderson and Stuart Broad unsurprisingly share bowling duties first up. The latter, who really had no luck yesterday, beats Michael Clarke with the final ball of his first over.

Pre-Play News

10:57am - The players take the field to the familiar strains of Jerusalem. Here we go!

10:50am - Chris Tremlett, part of England's 14-man squad for this Test, completes a brief bowling session in front of David Saker on one of the unused wickets. We don't have long to wait now until the competitive action recommences.

10:40am - Despite claiming just three wickets on day one, England's bowlers stuck to their task well and could easily have made further inroads with a little more luck. Tim Bresnan remained positive when he spoke to at stumps. You can read his thoughts, together with those of Australia opener Chris Rogers, here

10:25am - Michael Clarke has just enjoyed a chat with Michael Holding on the boundary edge. Australia's skipper is unbeaten on 125, having put on 174 with Steven Smith thus far - a record partnership for the fourth wicket in Ashes Tests at this ground.

10:15am - Morning everyone. There was a short, sharp shower at Emirates Old Trafford around half an hour ago, but the rain clouds are now clearing away and day two of the third Investec Ashes Test is set to begin on time.

Australia enjoyed comfortably their best day of the series yesterday and will resume on 303 for three. Can England hit back with the ball this morning?

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