Jofra Archer impresses with his deadly bowling as the second Test of Ashes 2019 ends in a draw.
ASHES SECOND TEST
England: 258 and 258/5 d
Australia: 250 and 154/6
Result: Match drawn
Player of the match: Ben Stokes
Ashes 2019, Second Test ends in a draw despite spirited efforts from both the teams. Smith’s injury, Jofra Archer’s deadly bowling and Ben Stokes’ brilliance being the highlights of this entertaining fixture.
Day 1 of the second Test succumbed to rain as play was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
ENGLAND PUT INTO BAT
Tim Paine won the toss, and opted to bowl first on a lively wicket. Josh Hazlewood repaid the faith showed in him as he picked three of the top 4 English batsmen.
He caught Jason Roy fishing outside the off pole, for a duck. A lethal in dipper caught Joe Root plumb in front. Meanwhile, Rory Burns was once again among the runs as he struck a gritty 53, before being dismissed, courtesy a blinder from Cameron Bancroft at short leg.
Joe Denly failed to convert a good start once again as Hazlewood had him nicking behind to the keeper. Except for Bairstow, the middle order failed to impress. The keeper-batsman and Chris Woakes guided England to a respectable 258.
Australian followed their routine with no surprises. The openers got out cheaply, and that left Steve Smith and others with a mighty task ahead. Usman Khawaja scored 36, and he too failed to convert the start into something substantial.
Steve Smith was at his unusual best, leaving deliveries in a hilarious but effective manner.
Meanwhile, Jofra Archer looked unplayable with his deadly bouncers. One of his bouncers struck Smith on his lower back of his helmet, forcing Smith to unwillingly retire.
However, Smith returned on the fall of the next wicket. Archer struck him again, this time on his forearms which completely disturbed Smith’s front foot play. The same hinderance got the better of him, as he fell for a well-made 92.
Australian tailenders couldn’t contribute much as they were folded out 8 runs short of England’s first innings score.
In the second innings, England again got off to a disastrous start as they were reduced to 9/2 within 5 overs. However, the middle order came to the party as Denly, Buttler and Bairstow made useful contributions.
BEN STOKES’S SCINTILLATING CENTURY
Ben Stokes was the key differentiator as he really pushed England to a position from where they could force a result in the game.
His 115*(165) was audacity at its best. Be it shimming down to spinners or craftily churning runs against the pacers, the all-rounder excelled in all. However, he also had luck on his side as he was dropped by David Warner very early in his innings.
England declared at 258/5, leaving Australia to get 267 runs in 48 overs on a Day 5 pitch.
Archer bowled with extreme pace and bounce, and as a result, he dismissed Warner and Khawaja cheaply. After a good partnership, Jack Leach caught Bancroft plumb in front for 16.
A mini fightback was then staged by Labuschagne and Travis Head as they managed to nullify all the threats, the England bowlers posed.
Archer hit the Aussie batsmen more than a couple of times with his mean bouncers. In spite of a couple of late scares, Head and Pat Cummins managed to salvage a draw.
Even after 289 overs of cricket, Australia and England end up in a stalemate. Meaning Australia hold on to their 1-0 lead in Ashes, 2019.
Lakshman is an 18-year-old cricket fanatic. Just like millions of fans, his love for cricket is unparalleled. He has a passion for writing, and his emotion for the sport can be seen in his words.