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Anderson savours England's special day

MELBOURNE: James Anderson rated England's perfect performance to take charge of the fourth Ashes Test Sunday as one of his greatest days in Test cricket.

The tourists enjoyed a day they would never forget as they bowled out Australia for a record low 98 total at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and then cruised to 157 without loss by stumps on the first day.

England, which needs to win one of the remaining two Tests to retain the Ashes, was in the driving seat to claim its second Test victory of the series with fine weather forecast over the last four days of the match.

Anderson led a disciplined English bowling attack with four for 44 off 16 overs and now has 15 wickets for the series.

“In an Ashes series to bowl Australia out for less than 100 and then be 150 for none at the end of play is just unheard of, really,” Anderson told a press conference on Sunday.

“Today was when all those bits of luck came together and we got the nicks that we've missed in the past.

“It was one of those days where everything came off.”

Anderson and his fellow seamers relished the pitch conditions after skipper Andrew Strauss won the toss and put Australia in to bat.

The Australians were never able to settle on the lively wicket with the bowlers extracting swing and movement off the pitch and they were bundled out off 42.5 overs in 195 minutes.

“It's a credit to the guys and especially Tim Bresnan, who sat out the first three Tests to come in and bowl as well as he did today,” Anderson said.

“It was a great toss to win and there is always a danger when you win the toss that as a bowling unit you don't get too carried away and expect to get wickets.

“I thought we stuck at our tasks, trying to keep the pressure on all day, asking questions and putting balls in the right areas and we did it fantastically well.”

Australia slumped to its lowest MCG total in 54 Ashes Tests since its 104 in the second innings of the very first Test at the famous ground in 1877.

Anderson, who was troubled by a side strain in the third Perth Test, said there was no doubt he would not play in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

“I did have a bit of stiffness, but to be honest I would have to snap in half before I couldn't play in the last two games,” he said. — AFP

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