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The Ashes: England dismiss Michael Clarke but Chris Rogers digs in

Friday, 27 December 2013 - 10:36am IST Updated: Friday, 27 December 2013 - 10:41am IST | Place: Melbourne | Agency: Reuters
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Australia opener Chris Rogers was left bleeding from the head from a Stuart Broad delivery but recovered to post a fighting half-century and push Australia to 96 for three at tea on day two of the fourth Ashes test on Friday.

Resuming on 38-2, Rogers was dazed shortly after lunch when paceman Broad struck him in the helmet and had blood wiped away from his temple by medical personnel in front of a crowd of more than 71,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 36-year-old dusted himself down, and put on a new helmet to raise his 50 shortly before tea after losing batting partner Michael Clarke early in a meandering session played out in bright sunshine. Rogers was 50 not out, with Steven Smith on 14 as Australia managed only 58 runs for the session, well pinned down by a disciplined England attack.

Australia captain Clarke's troubles at the MCG against England continued when he became the third batsman of the match to be bowled when not offering a shot.

Averaging a paltry 12 against England at the ground, Clarke was dismissed for 10 by a James Anderson delivery that swung in from outside off-stump.

England could have had Australia in deeper trouble when number five batsman Steven Smith pulled bowling all-rounder Tim Bresnan to midwicket, but a leaping Anderson put down a tough chance with the batsman on seven.

The run-rate slowed to a crawl thereafter leaving sections of the bumper MCG crowd restless and jeering their displeasure. England had fought back after their last four batsman were bundled out in less than an hour in the morning, by capturing two quick wickets before lunch.

Anderson removed dangerous opener David Warner for nine before all-rounder Ben Stokes dismissed number three Shane Watson for 10 shortly before the break.

Clarke's surprise decision to send his team into the field after winning the toss was validated, however, as England, having resumed on 226-6, crumbled in the face of another hostile spell from seamer Mitchell Johnson.

Patchy innings

Johnson continued the scintillating form that has helped the hosts carve an unassailable 3-0 series lead when he captured three quick wickets to finish with figures of 5-63, his new ball spell reaping a devastating 5-18 in nine overs.

Warner lived dangerously for his nine runs, slashing indiscriminately at almost everything before skying a simple catch behind the wicket for keeper Jonny Bairstow, who replaced the dropped Matt Prior.

Watson, who suffered a groin injury on day one, was also caught behind by Bairstow for 10 after edging a Stokes delivery. Johnson earlier struck with his first ball of the morning to remove Tim Bresnan for one, the all-rounder fending away a venomous, rising delivery to give a scrambling George Bailey a simple catch at square leg.

Johnson then bowled Kevin Pietersen for 71 four balls later when the South Africa-born batsman swiped across the line in a horrible attempted slog that will do little to silence his detractors.

Broad came out swinging, smacking a pair of boundaries off seamer Ryan Harris, but was trapped in front by the 32-year-old Johnson for 11, the dismissal almost an exact repeat of the one in third test in Perth that injured his foot.

Nathan Lyon captured his sole wicket for the innings by bowling Monty Panesar for two when the spinner failed to offer a shot, leaving Anderson stranded on 11 not out and bringing England's innings to a close.

Man of the match in the first two tests, Johnson now has 10 five-wicket hauls in tests, with five coming against England and three in this series. The final match of the five-test series starts in Sydney on Jan. 3.


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