Adelaide: England backed up a sensational three-wicket start to bowl out Australia for 245 on an extraordinary opening day of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
Australia got off to their worst Test start in 60 years at two for three in the opening three overs and then lost their last five wickets for 38 to hand England the inside running on a crucial early victory in the series.
It was a horror performance by Australia, coming off the drawn first Gabba Test and needing to finish ahead of holders England to reclaim the Ashes.
If not for Mike Hussey it would have been considerably worse for Australia with the senior number five batsman showing plenty of spirit in a fighting 93 before 38,615 spectators, one of the biggest Ashes crowds here in decades.
James Anderson was the best of England’s bowlers, taking 4-51 off 19 overs.
At the close, England’s openers had negotiated one over to be one without loss.
England had a sensational start when they removed senior opener Simon Katich, skipper Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Michael Clarke in an amazing opening spell.
Australia were reeling at 2-3 inside the third over with only Lindsay Hassett’s team faring worst at 0-3 in the second innings of the 1950 Brisbane Ashes Test.
Katich set off a calamitous day for Australia when he was run out by a direct hit from Jonathan Trott side on at square leg.
Shane Watson hared off for a single off an lbw appeal on Anderson’s fourth ball of the innings and Katich had the misfortune to be out without facing a ball, a victim of chaotic communication with his opening partner.
There was more calamity to come for Australia when Ponting edged Anderson’s outswinger to Graeme Swann at second slip for his fifth Test first-ball duck.
The hosts plunged into deeper trouble when out-of-form Michael Clarke on two went hard after a moving Anderson delivery and snicked to Swann in the slips for the spinner’s second catch.
Three Australian wickets had tumbled in 10 balls.
Watson was out in the second over after lunch, slicing his drive off Anderson to Kevin Pietersen in the gully for 51 leaving Australia at 96 for four.
The notoriously inconsistent Marcus North looked to have played himself in on 26 before he attempted a lazy late cut off Steven Finn and edged to Matt Prior.
North helped put on 60 runs with Hussey for the fifth wicket during his 93-ball knock.
Offspinner Swann was on a hattrick after getting some turn to have Hussey dismissed seven runs short of his century and next ball had recalled paceman Ryan Harris lbw for a duck.
Hussey, dropped in a return catch by Anderson when on three, was on track for his third consecutive Ashes century before he was deceived by a turner from Swann and was snapped up by Paul Collingwood at slip.
The veteran left-hander, who scored 121 in the second innings at The Oval last year, hit 195 in the first Gabba Test last week and was looking in good touch to make it three in a row.
Hussey had helped restore Australia’s parlous position with a 51-run stand with Haddin and it was big wicket for England.
Harris was struck on the back pad at the crease but called for a review by the third umpire, who confirmed South African umpire Marais Erasmus’s decision.
Xavier Doherty saw off the hattrick threat, but became the second run out victim of the day in a mix-up with Haddin, who went on to make 56.