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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

England beats Australia in second Ashes cricket Test

Andrew Flintoff took five wickets to help England secure a 115-run win against Australia Monday on the fifth and final day of the second Ashes Test.

The victory, England's first in a Test against Australia at Lord's in 75 years, gave the hosts a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The first Test was drawn.

Flintoff, bowling through pain in his right knee that led him to announce that he will retire from Test play after this series, finished with figures of 5-92. He bowled 10 consecutive overs from the start of play to earn his third five-wicket Test haul.

"It's been a good Test match," said Flintoff, named man of the match. "It's nice to take five (wickets) on the last morning and receive all the plaudits but it's been a team effort."

"There might be occasions when I'm feeling tired or aching but Straussy (captain Andrew Strauss) was never going to get the ball out of my hand," he added. "I have got three Test matches left and I will give my all. It's going to be hard to get through them but I will be giving everything."

Off-spinner Graeme Swann had 4-87 and removed Michael Clarke, who made 136 and was Australia's main hope in an attempt to reach a record run chase total of 522. Australia, seeking to retain the Ashes, was eventually dismissed for 406 with Mitchell Johnson contributing 63 from 75 balls.

The third Test starts July 30 in Edgbaston.

The hosts were humiliated in the 2006-07 Ashes series, losing by a 5-0 margin. This series started differently when the first Test in Cardiff was drawn after a battling match-saving effort by England.

"We have enjoyed playing here (Lord's) and have a proud record over a number of years so it's disappointing to lose any Test match and especially here," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.

James Anderson set an early positive tone for England with two lbw appeals in the first four balls of the day, though both were given not out by umpire Billy Doctrove.

Flintoff then claimed the first wicket of the morning before Australia had registered a run. Brad Haddin's resistance, which spanned 196 minutes, came to an end when he edged to Paul Collingwood at second slip for his overnight score of 80. The score was then 313-6.

Flintoff's bowling speeds were consistently above 145 km/h and, to emphasize his threat, struck established batsman Clarke on the glove with a spiteful bouncer. The next ball swung into Clarke and cut away from the outside edge of his bat.

Johnson experienced similar hardship against Flintoff and was hit on the shoulder when he failed to connect with a hook shot when on 11. Two balls later he connected for one of his nine boundaries.

Johnson edged Stuart Broad towards Flintoff at second slip when on 15 but the ball just failed to carry and the batsman scrambled a single. Later in the same over, Clarke reasserted his authority by cover driving for a well-timed boundary.

Swann produced the key breakthrough by bowling Clarke, who had advanced down the pitch only to see the ball dip under his bat and spin back on to the off stump. Swann's ecstatic celebration illustrated the team's relief at removing Clarke.

Australia's vice-captain batted for 319 minutes, faced 227 deliveries and struck 14 boundaries.

Nathan Hauritz (1) was bowled by Flintoff after offering no stroke and Peter Siddle was also bowled by the Lancashire all-rounder, who celebrated his fifth wicket with his usual modesty, kneeling on the Lord's turf and acknowledging the applause.

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