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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Swann on song after skittling Aussies

Swann on song after skittling Aussies

December 07, 2010 12:18 IST

Spinner Graeme Swann enjoyed befuddling Australia's batsmen on Tuesday to help England post their first away Ashes victory in seven years, but found his captain proved far more difficult to penetrate.

Swann was billed as Australia's executioner on a wearing fifth-day pitch at Adelaide Oval, and took to the role with gusto when thrown the ball after part-time spinner Kevin Pietersen completed his over from the previous evening.

He had the out-of-form Marcus North in all sorts of trouble in his second over, trapping him in front, which prompted a massive leg-before-wicket appeal that was turned down. The decision was affirmed by a TV review.

He then finished the over with a venomous delivery to Mike Hussey that turned and bounced savagely, glancing the edge of the bat before being dropped by wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Graeme SwannSkipper Andrew Strauss made his own unplayable delivery, however, when he took the new ball the next over and threw it to pace bowlers James Anderson and Steve Finn, leaving Swann waiting cap in hand.

"Yeah, I didn't know what (Strauss) was doing," Swann laughed.

"I'd just beaten the bat and I just turned to him and said 'I'll get him next over,' and he said 'well, you won't - because you're off!"

Strauss's move did appear a master-stroke, however, when Finn dismissed danger-man Hussey for 52, while Anderson chipped in with two wickets in two balls to remove wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and pace bowler Ryan Harris.

Swann returned to promptly trap North leg-before-wicket for 22, then bowled Xavier Doherty and Peter Siddle to finish with five wickets for 91 runs and restore some pride after having his leading man tag downgraded a notch.

"It was nice to get involved in the last over and it couldn't have got much better for us. We're very happy," said Swann, who felt he'd bowled "like a 12-year-old".

"Body feels good, fingers are a bit sore but that's my lot as a spinner I have to put up with it," he added.

Swann, now the top-ranked bowler in the world, was a reluctant witness to England's catastrophic collapse at the Adelaide Test four years ago when their batsmen were skittled for 129 in the second innings on the way to a crushing defeat.

Being on the right side of an innings and 71-run victory that put England 1-0 up in the series before the teams head to Perth next week left a far better taste in the mouth.

"It's better this year for the English, I watched it on TV last time and it's nice to reverse fortunes," he said.

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