England one up in the five match Ashes series were staring at a certain defeat at the hands of the marauding Australians reeling at the end of the second day at 82 for 5 still 261 runs behind the Australian first innings total of 445 at Headingley.
At the crease were the night watchman James Anderson not out 0 and wicket-keeper Matt Prior not out on 4.
Starting their second innings 343 runs behind the visitors England were moving steadily till the 23rd over of the day when medium pacer Ben Hilfenhouse struck a double blow by removing the England skipper Andrew Strauss for 32 and Ravi Bopara for a duck trapping both batsmen leg before the wicket in two consecutive balls. Till Hilfenhouse struck Strauss and Alistair Cook had added 58 runs for the first wicket, still facing an uphill task of saving the game.
From that point, struggling Australian fast bowler Michael Johnson took over the proceedings to capture the next three wickets to send England reeling to 82 for 5 at the end of the day.
Johnson first had Ian Bell caught at second by the Australian skipper Rickey Pointing fo3 and then trapped Paul Collingwood in front for 4 and followed it up with the wicket of Cook for 30 by having him held behind the stumps.
Earlier in the day Australia’s new find Marcus North batted with much resolute to complete his first Test century and thus help them to their first innings total of 445. North made 110 in an inning that contained thirteen fours and a six.
England 1st innings 102 all out (M.J.Prior 37 no, P.M.Siddle 5-21, S.R. Clark 3-18)
Australia 1st innings 445 all out (M.J.North 110, R.Ponting 78, M.J.Clarke 93, S.Broad 6-91).
England 2nd innings 82/5 at close (A.Strauss 32, A.N.Cook 30, M.Johnson 3-21, B.W.Hilfenhaus 2-37)