The Ashes, 2019 |2nd Test |8/14/2019 Lord's, London
That is all we have from this 5-day-cum-4-day match. Australia manage to cling on to the urn and series lead but one will believe that with Smith potentially ruled out of the next Test, England have the momentum and the arsenal to level the series. But then, Australia had the momentum coming into this one. Probably it will be best if we leave it to the players to get us a wonderful game of cricket. Join us on Thursday, 22nd August, 2019 at 11 am local (1000 GMT) for all the action from the third Test at Headingley, Leeds. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
BEN STOKES HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH. It was his century which brought the game to life. England will hope that it spurs him on for the rest of the series.
Coming to the bowling. Two bowlers who were playing their first Test in this series - Josh Hazlewood and Jofra Archer - lit up the Lord's. Hazlewood rocked up England's top order while Jofra Archer went for the heads of every batsman. He kept reminding us of the fiery Caribbean pace of the 70s and 80s, hitting the Aussies hard and making them hop around like rabbits. Regardless of this result, one just feels that the Ashes has just begun for the English. Archer is probably the difference between the two sides and with 3 games to go, this series is waiting for a turnaround.
In cricket, they say that nothing is over till it is really over. Joe Root took a controversial catch to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne and the game turned. Next over, Matthew Wade was dismissed. 3 overs later, Paine threw his wicket away. Boy, the game was truly alive and kicking. But Cummins and Travis with a cool head managed to see off the remaining nervous moments and ensured that the Aussies still stay in the series lead.
Normally, with 10 wickets to play out 48 overs, you do expect the batting side to see those off. But Australia were reeling even before the first ball was bowled, as Smith was not there. They were reduced to 19/2 and then 47/3 before Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head staged a 85-run stand and almost saw the team home to stuff out a draw. ALMOST.
England were rocked early in their second innings as well, being reduced to 71/4 but then lives given to Ben Stokes - twice in 4 balls by David Warner let them off the hook. The scenario changed this morning when it was announced that Smith will miss the rest of this Test match. A new vigour came into the hosts' camp. They pummeled the bowling to all parts, with Stokes raising a century to remember.
That fourth day saw a lot of action. Steve Smith taking matters into his own hands and then that contest between him and Jofra Archer. Hit on the elbow, hit on the neck, felled over, concussed and eventually retiring hurt, before coming back on. He has been ruled out of the next Test as well but that is for now. What if he says he is fit on the 21st?
This Test match had all the ingredients. Rain robbed us off 5 sessions. Out of a potential 15. But in the 10 that we got, fantastic cricket was played. Australia's decision to bowl first surprised all, but their bowling unit got that in their favour by dismissing England for 258. But their own batting could not come to terms again and fell 8 runs short.
Well, umpire Aleem Dar takes the bails off. Australia have 4 wickets left, 3 balls left in the day and the time has ticked past 7.24 pm local time, which was the last permissible limit till when play could have gone on. Root walks over solemnly and shakes hands with Cummins. The second Test ends in a draw. We go 1-0 into Leeds.
J Leach to Cummins, Full and around off, Cummins lunges to smother the spin.
J Leach to Cummins, Around off, watchfully blocked out.
J Leach to Cummins, Full and around off, watchfully defended past short leg.
END OF OVER 47 | 0 Runs & 0 Wkt | AUS 154/6
Joe Denly to Head, Fullish ball on off, Head drives it firmly through covers. The ball was going towards the fence but Broad hared at the ball to stop it. Interestingly no run taken.
Joe Denly to Head, Another fullish ball from Leach which doesn't land on the rough. Head blunts it nicely.
Joe Denly to Head, Another fullish ball outside off, Head punches it towards mid off to get a couple.
Joe Denly to Head, Blocks it from the crease to this fullish ball.
Joe Denly to Head, Beaten this time! Fullish ball on fourth stump line. Head has a poke at it but is beaten.
Joe Denly to Head, Fullish ball on off, Head drives it straight to cover.
END OF OVER 46 | 0 Runs & 0 Wkt | AUS 154/6
J Leach to Cummins, Full and around off, watchfully defended.
Jack Leach to Cummins, The batsman has offered no stroke to an incoming delivery.
Jack Leach to Cummins, NOT OUT. Missing off. Review in excitement and desperation. Pitched around leg, from over the wicket, Cummins pads it away. He is hit on the pads and Root appeals, then going for the review. Ball Tracker confirms that it was spinning away.
Root has gone for a review! Did the ball do enough to come back in? Cummins did not offer any shot. Here comes Ball Tracker. Missing off. Reviews done and dusted for England.