LONDON // Mitchell Johnson smashed 43 from just 23 balls to take Australia to 249 for eight wickets in the second one-day international against England. Callum Ferguson followed his man of the match performance in Australia's series-opening victory by top-scoring with a 58-ball 55 at Lord's, while Johnson came in at No 8 and helped the tourists add 80 from the last 10 overs. Luke Wright and Graeme Swann had each taken two wickets today to slow the scoring after England won the toss and asked Australia to bat for a second straight game, but Johnson's blitz gave his side a total for his bowlers to defend.
With Stuart Broad ruled out because of a neck injury, England made two changes to the team that lost by four runs at the Oval, where the home side restricted Australia effectively before failing to muster sufficient aggression to chase a target of 261. On a more responsive pitch, England looked to have erred by putting Australia into bat after the tourists cruised to 53 for 0 from the first 12 overs.
But Wright's introduction into the attack heralded the loss of three wickets for 11 runs in just 27 balls. Wright took an athletic catch to take a rising cover shot by Shane Watson to dismiss the opener for 34 off the bowling of Tim Bresnan and then had Tim Paine caught by Eoin Morgan for 26 on the boundary in the following over. Four overs later, captain Michael Clarke gloved a delivery from Wright to wicketkeeper Matthew Prior to leave his team wobbling at 73 for three.
At that point, Wright had taken two wickets for just 10 runs off 3.1 overs, but Cameron White and Ferguson steadied the innings with a 69-run fourth-wicket stand. Spinner Swann was largely economical but the Australia pair seized on the bowling of Paul Collingwood at the other end to take their side to 142 for three before Ravi Bopara got rid of White with his first ball. Bopara only bowled 8.2 overs in his miserable Ashes series and did not get the ball at all at the Oval but tempted White into a thin edge to Prior. Michael Hussey followed three overs later when he was bowled by Swann for just eight.
With James Hopes adding just 11 before Swann trapped him leg before wicket with a quicker delivery, Ferguson and Johnson started hitting out with 22 from 16 deliveries. Then England captain Andrew Strauss brought the expensive James Anderson back into the attack and he immediately bowled Ferguson as he swung and missed at a straight delivery. Brett Lee followed for 0 when he tried to heave Ryan Sidebottom and was instead caught by Owais Shah but, with Nathan Bracken (10) alongside him, Johnson started hitting the boundary with five fours in what could be an invaluable innings.