England fast bowler Steven Finn said it felt “fantastic” to be back among the wickets in Test cricket after taking England to the verge of an Ashes victory at Edgbaston on Thursday.
Anderson took a six-for on the first day and was instrumental in restricting Australia to 136 to lay the platform for England to take a 2-1 lead.
A short while after the interval, Finn struck twice in two balls to leave Australia in trouble.
But in similar fashion to the first day, Australia’s batting crumbled in response and only a gutsy 77 from David Warner saved the visitors from the possibility of a two-day defeat.
Prior to Ali’s spirited effort, Johnson had given Australia a foothold in the match with two wickets – including his 300th in Tests – for no runs in three balls during his first over on Thursday after England had resumed on their overnight 133 for three.
England suffered a setback before play started when James Anderson, their all-time most successful Test bowler, was ruled out of the remainder of this match and next week’s fourth Test at Trent Bridge with a side strain. “We’ve just got to make sure we do a professional job”.
Moeen Ali initially struggled to settle at the crease, in particular against Lyon’s probing off-spin, but produced a flurry of fours after lunch to bulk up England’s advantage before cutting Josh Hazlewood to third man.
First innings hero and birthday boy James Anderson got injured and left the field in between.
A win will enable England to regain their lead in the five-match series.
“The game is most definitely still not won yet”, said Finn.
Johnson and Nevill frustrated England with a 42-run partnership for the seventh wicket but Finn returned to dismiss the former with the first ball of his new spell when the batsman sliced to point.
“Before we played very attritional cricket but now we’re trying to be a team of can-do people, people who can go out and showcase what they’ve got and that’s what we’re doing”.
England are on course to go 2-1 up in the 2015 Ashes series after dominating a blistering two days of action in Birmingham.
Somehow Voges held the ball, dismissing Cook for 34.
Although he was selected for the return series in Australia three months later, so bad were his displays in the nets that he was considered “unselectable’ for the five Tests and subsequent one-day internationals that followed and sent home by the coaching staff following another wild net session in Brisbane”.
Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Mitch Marsh all failed to bowl with the same control as Johnson.