On day two of the second Ashes test, Ben Duckett hit 98, helping England reach 278-4. Australia’s Steve Smith, the fourth Australian to surpass 9,000 runs in a Test, continued to play and made his 32nd test century. Ben Stokes brought composure to the final hour, allowing for short ball/stacked leg side approaches.
Duckett aids England’s comeback against Australia in the second Ashes Test
After off-spinner, Lyon stumbles off on Day 2, Cummins and company turn to a short-pitched barrage to try and get some wickets.
Ben Duckett hit 98 as England rushed to 278-4
On day two of the second Ashes test on Thursday, opener Ben Duckett hit 98 as England sped to 278-4 in another high-octane “Bazball” batting display to continue its Ashes comeback after bowling Australia out for 416 on an excellent day of action.
When established batter stood their ground in the face of Australia’s somewhat desperate short-pitched strategy, the all-action strategy’s drawback meant it also gifted crucial wickets.
The start of Day 2nd saw early wicket fall of Australia
As Australia resumed on 339-5 with Steve Smith on 85, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson swiftly removed Alex Carey and Mitchell Starc. England, so flat on Wednesday, started the day much more purposefully.
Smith became the fourth Australian to surpass 9,000 runs in a test
But Smith, who on Wednesday became the fourth Australian to surpass 9,000 runs, continued to play and eventually reached his 32nd test century before being bowled for 110 after a superb catch by Duckett at second slip, giving Josh Tongue his third wicket.
Although he will be pleased with his team’s final score, Pat Cummins, who batted brilliantly to lead Australia home in the first test, again appeared confident to end unbeaten on 22. However, this was a bit of a drop-off from when they seemed to be crossing at 316-3 on Wednesday afternoon.
England’s Innings started smoothly
Crawley appeared especially in control before being out for 48 runs after what surfaced to be a calculated advance on Nathan Lyon.
While Australia’s attack battled to make any penetration, Ollie Pope entered the game and kept things moving. He had open spots all over the outfield but appeared unconcerned about them. However, he had to grab a Cameron Green bouncer and hook it straight down Smith’s throat to depart for 42. Smith was one of three men on the leg side boundary.
Joe Root lost his wicket on a no-ball
Moments later, Australia began to cheer even louder when Joe Root, allegedly infected by the euphoria, got caught behind, swinging recklessly at the second ball he faced, only to be recalled after Green’s delivery proved to be a no-ball.
England attempted to engage Australia, but Duckett and Root got caught off hooks, and Harry Brook got dropped by Labuschagne at square leg. Short ball/stacked leg side approaches continued to be employed by Australia.
Ben Stokes brings some calm to the final hour
The team’s captain, Ben Stokes, brings some composure to the final hour by reminding his teammates that leaving a bouncer is allowable by the game rules.
At the end of the day second, Brook was on 45 and still unbeaten, with England trailing by 138.