Saturday 18 November 2017 / 10:44 PM

The Ashes: 2nd Test – Day 3 & 4 wrap

Australia has levelled the Ashes series at 1-all courtesy of a crushing 405-run defeat of England in the second Test at Lord’s, sealing the emphatic win by routing the hosts for a dismal 103 on Day 4.

England showed some spirit on Day 3, recovering from 4/30 to eventually be all out for 312 after Alistair Cook (96) and Ben Stokes (87) produced a 145-run stand. Promoted all-rounder Mitch Marsh bowled both mainstays, however, before Moeen Ali (39) and Stuart Broad (21) provided a bit of rearguard fight.

Despite holding a 254-run first-innings lead, Michael Clarke continued Australia’s contentious strategy of ignoring the enforcement of the follow-on, opting instead to bat again. Openers Chris Rogers and David Warner survived the remaining 26 overs of Day 3 to advance Australia to 0/108 at stumps.



Rogers retired hurt on 49 early on Day 4 after suffering from dizziness, but Warner (86 off 116 balls), Steve Smith (58 off 48 balls), Clarke (32 not out off 34 balls) and Marsh (27 off 19 balls) advanced Australia to 2/254 at better than five runs an over when the skipper declared for the second time in the match shortly before lunch.

Set 509 for victory, England then proceeded to implode in diabolical fashion, lasting just 37 overs in being dismissed for 103. Broad top-scored with  25, while Ian Bell was next best with just 17.

A 37-run stand by Broad and Ali was easily England’s highest as Mitchell Johnson (3/27), Josh Hazlewood (2/20), Nathan Lyon (2/27), Marsh (1/8) and Mitchell Starc (1/16) ran roughshod.



Stud of the day

Day 3: Mitch Marsh justified his call-up at the expense of struggling veteran Shane Watson, taking the vital wickets of Stokes and Cook to severely dent England’s chance of miraculously escaping with a draw.



Day 4: Mitchell Johnson was back to his devastating best at Lord’s, following up three wickets in England’s first innings with another three-for in the hosts’ woeful second dig, picking up the key scalps of Cook, Jos Buttler and Ali. He also ran out danger-man Stokes for a duck in a satisfying day at the office for the pace spearhead.

Stud of the match

Steve Smith took out man-of-the-match honours in a canter, backing up his career-best 215 in the first innings with a blazing, quick-fire 58 on Day 4. A freak.

Key moment

Day 3: England quickly fell apart after Stokes’ brave innings came to an end, bowled by Marsh.

Day 4: Facing a day and a half of batting to pull off the unlikeliest of draws, opener Adam Lyth’s second failure of the Test – again caught behind off Starc – was the beginning of the end for England.  

Looking ahead

The euphoria of England’s impressive first-Test victory in Cardiff has well and truly dissipated, while Australia shook off that rusty display in Wales with a performance as comprehensive as any they’ve produced in the last few years. The third Test in Birmingham, starting on Wednesday, July 29, shapes as a gruelling examination of the character of the England side.

Fun facts

  • Australia set their opponents a 500-plus fourth-innings target for the 28th time in Tests, notching their 27th victory; the other match was drawn.
  • Steve Smith became the first Australian batsman in 81 years to score a 200 and a 50 in the same Ashes Test.
  • James Anderson went wicketless at Lord’s for the first time in 18 Test appearances at the hallowed venue.
  • Rogers and Warner have managed 14 opening stands of 50-plus in the last two years; no other opening duo has managed more than five.
  • Cook has been dismissed in the 90s an England record seven times.

 

[YouTube – cricket.com.au]

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