Oval saw an enthralling and interesting day as the 2nd day of the final Ashes test went down to the wire. Australia ended the day with an overall lead of 12 runs as they were bowled out for 295. This was after England were bowled out for 283 on the first day. The entire day was filled with drama as the Australians found it tough against the English bowlers. Steve Smith then with his rearguard action got the Australians back into the game.
The story as it happened –
Australia walked into the second day with just one wicket down as Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne came out to bat. David Warner playing his final test in England was out for 24 the previous day falling to Chris Woakes.
Jonny Bairstow tries to do an Alex Carey –
It was the last ball of the 1st Day’s play as James Anderson was bowling to Australian number 3 Labuschagne. The Australian was content to leave the ball through to the wicket keeper. The leave signaled the end of the day, but there was more drama.
Bairstow was seen pretending as if he was about to throw down the stumps, the same way that Alex Carey had done during the 2nd test at Lords. This was because Labuschagne was apparently tempting Bairstow to have a go. The cameras then saw Anderson have a word with Labuschagne and apparently told him that England don’t adopt such tactics.
Interesting chat between Marnus Labuschagne & James Anderson after the last ball of the day. Marnus kept dragging his bat within his crease while looking at Jonny Bairstow who had the ball in his hands. Anderson seemed to suggest, “we don’t do that” as they crossed paths #Ashes— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) July 27, 2023
Australia pegged back by determined English bowlers –
Starting the day at 61/1, the English bowlers made a stirring comeback to the game. Mark Wood struck first when he dismiss Labuschagne for 9. This was followed by a burst of two wicket spell by Broad who dismissed Khawaja for 47 and Travis Head for 4. James Anderson then got the wicket of Marsh for 16 followed by Root dismissing Carey for 10. Mitchell Starc then was dismissed by Mark Wood for 7.
Smith scores 71 as Cummins and Murphy stage a fightback –
Australia were 185/7 still trailing by 98 when Starc was out. That’s when Smith and captain Cummins came together for 54 runs stand for the 8th wicket. Smith had survived a controversial call for a run out, when umpire Nitin Menon gave it not out in favor of Smith. Steve Smith was eventually out for 71 off 123 balls when he was dismissed by Woakes.This got Todd Murphy to the wicket as the left handed batter smacked 34 runs off 39 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes. Two of the sixes were sweetly timed pull shots of Mark Wood. The 9th wicket pair added 49 as Australia went past England’s total. Root got the final wicket dismissing Cummins for 36 caught by Stokes to end the innings and also the day.