Stubborn concussion subs, Stokes’ superb ton, and more Archer awesomeness… the pick of an absorbing end to the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.
Ben Stokes smashed an unbeaten 115 but, after being given a scare by Jofra Archer and Jack Leach, Australia clung on for a draw at Lord’s to stay 1-0 up in the five-match Ashes series, writes Sam Drury at Lord’s.
Scorecard | Commentary
England declared on 258-5 soon after Stokes reached his seventh Test hundred, setting Australia 267 to win in 48 overs, but after Archer dismissed David Warner and Usman Khawaja early the tourists were content to bat out for a draw.
Three quick wickets in the final hour ensured there was a tense finale to a superb Test match but Australia survived and ended on 154-6.
England vs Australia
August 22, 2019, 10:00am
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It could so easily have been Stokes’ century moment, or the lbw shout from Nathan Lyon against him when on 55 – Australia using and losing a review this time after failing to do so when they could have had Rory Burns out on day four.
There was also the brutal Archer bumper Marnus Labuschagne took to the grille of his helmet off only his second delivery faced in Ashes cricket, and the gutsy 59 runs the concussion substitute for Steve Smith scored to help save the Test for Australia. But, the moment of the day – as much of the Test has – belonged to Archer.
Australia, tasked with surviving 48 overs, lost two wickets to the England speed demon inside his opening three overs, the second of which an absolute beauty to take Khawaja’s outside edge through to Jonny Bairstow and had everyone at Lord’s and watching around the world believing England could force an unlikely victory.
Also, although England needed as many four wickets at the end, Jason Roy’s drop of Travis Head (42no) when on 22 proved particularly costly. Did he perhaps drop the Ashes…?
Stat of the Day
This rose to 16 when Matthew Wade copped one on the helmet late in the day…
“I simply don’t think he caught it,” said Holding. “I would love to see the magnifying glass put on that ‘catch’. As far as I’m concerned, most of his fingers are beside the ball or behind the ball.”
Nasser Hussain, however, had sympathy with third umpire Joel Wilson, who stuck with the on-field call of a catch and suggested the real talking point was Labuschagne’s fine innings that preceded the controversy.
“With one replay it looked like it had clearly bounced, from the other it looked like it bounced in the fingers,” Hussain added. “Umpire Wilson has to stick with the on-field umpire’s decision. He didn’t do anything wrong.
“It would have been a huge talking point if Australia went on to lose the game. They haven’t, and what actually should be the talking point, in my opinion, is how well Labuschagne played. He has come in as a concussion replacement – the first time in the history of Test cricket – and I think you now can’t leave him out of the next game.”
So, who does he come in for, Shane Warne? “If Steve Smith is right for the next Test, maybe you look at Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja goes up to open? He has shown good skill, technique and temperament, but courage as well. To do what he has done is too much to ignore.”
Tweets of the Day
Michael Atherton on Jofra Archer: “He lived up to every minute of his debut and he’s going to be a superstar of the world game. Some of his deliveries were incredible to cope with. He’s proving inspirational and you sense there’s been a psychological shift in the series.”
Australian Cricketers’ Association on Smith being booed on Saturday: “What was unwelcome and incorrect was the sound of booing of an injured player. Cricket deserves much better than that. And Lord’s, the home of cricket, deserves much better. What we witnessed was bravery from an outstanding young man. It should be commended not vilified.”