Second LV= Insurance Ashes Test, Lord’s (day two out of five)
Australia 416 (Smith 110, Head 77; Tongue 3-98, Robinson 3-100)
England 278-4 (Duckett 98, Crawley 48, Brook 45*)
England still trails by 138 runs
The hosts had performed admirably to counter the ill-effects of a subpar opening day, successfully dismissing Australia at 416 and achieving 188-1 in return.
However, England’s Ollie Pope, Ben Duckett and Joe Root casually handed over their wickets to Australia’s well-signaled short-ball strategy. Duckett, missing out on his first-ever Ashes century, fell at 98.
The team saw a loss of three wickets for a mere 34 runs, before Harry Brook and Captain Ben Stokes stabilized the situation, taking England to 278-4, 138 behind.
England’s lax batting approach was highlighted as Australia’s key spinner, Nathan Lyon, was off-field due to a calf injury requiring overnight evaluation.
Earlier, Steve Smith reached his 32nd Test hundred, scoring 110 before being bowled out by Josh Tongue. An Australian collapse saw a loss of five wickets for just 65 runs on Thursday morning, with both Tongue and Ollie Robinson claiming three wickets each.
England’s Extreme Approach: A Risk Too Far?
What could have been a spectacular day for England ended in near-crisis. After more than two effective sessions, their previously lethargic performance was replaced with a more energetic approach.
The home team’s bowlers found their stride as the pitch quickened. Their sharp catching and grinding batting, led by the reliably consistent Duckett, started to wear down Australia.
Despite the resilience of the touring bowlers, England’s only blunder came from Zak Crawley, who was stumped down the leg side off Lyon after a brilliant 48.
Eight overs of imprudent batting that followed threatened to ruin England’s chances of regaining the Ashes. Their current approach under Stokes leans towards aggression, but the thoughtless way they let Australia back into the game lacked cricketing wisdom.
The severity of the collapse was amplified by the team’s disregard for warnings. Despite Duckett’s discomfort with the short ball and Root’s catch off a no-ball, England chose not to temper their aggression.
As a riveting, action-packed day came to an end, the Test is perfectly balanced, though it leaves behind a lingering regret of what could have been achieved.
Duckett’s Notable Performance Undone by Reckless England
Since his return to Test cricket in December, Duckett has been outstanding, with an average of 53.58, ranking fifth among all English players with at least 10 matches under their belt.
Duckett, in partnership with Crawley and Pope, added vital runs to the scoreboard. However, as Australia started to adopt the short-ball strategy with up to six fielders on the boundary, both Duckett and Pope succumbed to pressure.
Despite numerous close calls, Brook continued to engage the bouncers, narrowly avoiding being bowled by Cameron Green’s slower ball and being dropped by Marnus Labuschagne at square leg.
Stokes, often seen as England’s prime aggressor, chose to adopt a sensible approach this time, and has an opportunity to guide his team to a lead on the third day.
Australia’s Opportunities to Dominate Squandered
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ashes 2023 England-Australia
What is the score at the end of the second day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s?
At the end of the second day of the second Ashes Test, England had scored 278-4 in response to Australia’s first innings total of 416.
Who were the top performers for Australia and England on the second day of the Test?
For Australia, Steve Smith was the top performer with a score of 110. For England, Ben Duckett nearly achieved a century, scoring 98 before being dismissed.
How did the second day of the Test at Lord’s unfold?
After a poor start on the first day, England made a strong comeback by bowling Australia out for 416. However, late on the second day, England’s batsmen, including Ollie Pope, Ben Duckett, and Joe Root, fell prey to Australia’s short-ball plan, allowing Australia a chance to regain control of the game.
What did Ben Stokes’ performance look like on the second day of the Test?
Ben Stokes, the England captain, played sensibly on the second day, scoring a calm 17 from 57 balls. He will have a chance to guide his team to a lead on the third day.
What was the cause of Australia’s bowling collapse on the second day?
Australia lost five wickets for just 65 runs on the second day, primarily due to excellent bowling from Josh Tongue and Ollie Robinson who took three wickets each.
What was the key strategy that helped Australia regain control on the second day?
Australia successfully implemented a short-ball plan that led to England’s key batsmen, including Ollie Pope, Ben Duckett, and Joe Root, losing their wickets. This strategy helped Australia regain some control after their bowling collapse.
What notable record did Steve Smith achieve during this Test?
Steve Smith completed his 32nd Test hundred during this Test, reinforcing his reputation as a crucial player for Australia in the Ashes series.