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Cricket: Harris double leaves England on backfoot

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ryan Harris marked his return to Australia duty with two wickets in an over as England struggled on the first morning of the second Ashes Test at Lord's on Thursday.

England captain Alastair Cook won the toss with blue and sunny skies above Lord's promising seemingly ideal conditions for batting.

Yet England were soon 28 for three with Cook, opening partner Joe Root and dangerman Kevin Pietersen all out cheaply.

At lunch England -- who won a thrilling first Test by 14 runs at Trent Bridge on Sunday -- had recovered to 80 for three.

Jonathan Trott was 34 not out and Ian Bell, who scored a superb hundred in Nottingham, 23 not out with the Warwickshire duo's partnership so far worth 52.

Harris, recalled after Australia dropped the wayward Mitchell Starc, had taken two wickets for 21 runs in nine overs.

After two loose overs from James Pattinson, Australia captain Michael Clarke brought on all-rounder Shane Watson -- a man with whom he is at loggerheads according to court papers lodged by sacked former Australia coach Mickey Arthur made public this week.

And with just his second ball, Watson brought one back down the Lord's slope and into Cook's pads to have the left-hander lbw for 12 after umpire Marais Erasmus, criticised in his role as the replay official at Trent Bridge, took an age before raising his finger -- a decision the captain did not challenge.

The 33-year-old Harris, playing just the 13th Test of his injury-ravaged career and first in more than a year, then struck with the second ball of his third over when he had Root lbw for six.

Root referred the decision and after all the controversy surrounding the use of the Decision Review System (DRS) in the first Test, it was no surprise that New Zealand's Tony Hill, now in the third umpire hotseat, took several minutes before upholding Sri Lankan on-field official Kumar Dharmasena's decision that the ball had hit pad first.

Four balls later, Harris shaped a delivery up the slope which Pietersen, on two, nicked to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Harris, playing his first Test since appearing against the West Indies in Roseau in April last year, had taken two wickets for two runs in five balls and England had lost three for 10 in 11 overall.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130718/cricket-harris-double-leaves-england-backfoot