It was a tightly contested second day at the Gabba, when Mike Hussey frustrated England with an unbeaten 81, in the first test of the 2010 Ashes.

It was a see-saw ride as first the Aussie batsmen rode strongly on the 78-run first-wicket partnership between Shane Watson and Simon Katich only to see the English bowling attack reduce them from 96-1 to 143-5 in the afternoon session with James Anderson (2-40), Steven Finn (2-61) and Graeme Swann (1-59) amongst the wickets.   

However, Mike Hussey, coming out at number four, battled back with Brad Haddin to move Australia to 220-5 before bad light closed the day's play.

England skipper Andrew Strauss was, understandably, unhappy with the decision to stop play early as England were due to take their second new ball when umpires Billy Doctrove and Aleem Dar sent the players back. However, Strauss' hopes to restart were literally dampened when a few minutes later, the tropical downpour ruled out any chances of play resuming.

It was a sad end to an exciting second day when the English bowlers had put the Aussie middle order to test. They would have been hoping to make use of the new ball, grab a couple of wickets and prevent Australia from making sizeable lead. But the storm meant play will resume on day three.

Australia opened the day with purpose, moving quickly to 96-1 at lunchmaking the English score of 260 look meager.

Simon Katich and Shane Watson moved on from the overnight score of 25-0 with ease as the English attack failed to threaten them adequately. Katich made it through an early run-out chance and Stuart Broad hit Watson near the chest with a bouncer. Watson responded with some beautifully timed drives to the fence.

At 67, Doctrov gave Katich lbw. However, Australia referred it wisely and there was enough evidence to suggest it would clear the stumps. The partnership was soon broken when shortly before lunch, Anderson's delivery fell just wide of off-stump catching Watson in two minds as he edged to first slip Strauss.

Anderson's second wicket of the day, a little after lunch, was what started the English comeback. Ponting glanced an edge leg-side to Matt Prior to make it 2-96.

Katich was quick to follow him, shortly after reaching his half-century. Steven Finn's delivery was driven back to him by Katich, and the tall pace-man threw himself forward and emerged with the ball firmly in his grasp.

The wicket gave Finn some much needed confidence and he could have got Hussey early if only the Australian's outside edge had carried to slip.

Hussey was doing all the batting, while Clarke looked out of sorts. He had made just 9 out of 50 deliveries when he attempted to pull Finn but was caught behind. Marcus North (1) was soon back at the pavilion when he edged Graeme Swann to slip.

It was an unprecedented situation as at tea. Australia were 168-5 with chances of trailing on the first innings.

However, Hussey, who was recalled after a timely century for Western Australia, frustrated the English. The 35-year-old is known for his spirit and determination, and it was this that made him a solid wall in the final session.

He combined well the Brad Haddin (22) at the other end, and some fine shots saw them move up to 220-5, till bad light and then rain stopped play.

Day three will begin half an hour early when England will look to take early wickets, especially Hussey's.