Australia made a stirring comeback as Usman Khwaja stole the show with the bat. The left hander scored an emotional century as the English bowlers had not answer. The first test match of the 2023 Ashes stayed evenly poised between the two teams. While England are displaying their Baz-Ball brand of play, Australia the current World Test Champions aren’t taking a step back.
The story so far –
Day 2 of the 1st test at Edgbaston saw Usman Khawaja bring the Aussies back into the game with a classy ton. When stumps were drawn on Day 2, Khawaja and Alex Carey had taken the Australians past 300 and had considerably cut down the lead for the visitors.
Ben Stokes comes up with a unique field placement –
England test cricket has seen rejuvenation with Brendon McCullum as the coach and Ben Stokes as the captain. There is no short of entertainment or creativity when it comes to on field decisions. The English captain had come up with a unique field set up with 3 fielders on each side in the customary catching positions making run scoring look difficult.
Robinson strikes timber to end Khawaja’s long vigil –
Seeing the field set up, Usman Khawaja was finding ways to score runs. The left handed opener charged down the track. Ollie Robinson though showed his game awareness as he bowled a yorker. Khawaja missed the ball and the off stump went for a walk, as the Australian opener was out for 141 off 321 balls with 14 fours and 3 sixes.
England pockets a small lead –
James Anderson who was wicketless till the 3rd day morning struck first when he ended the 118 run 6th wicket stand to dismiss Carey. The wicket keeper scored 68 off 99 balls with 10 fours and a six. Pat Cummins then came to wicket and added 34 for the 7th wicket before Khawaja was out. England soon rolled over the Australians for 386 with some hostile bowling. Cummins was the last man out for 38 off 62 balls with 3 sixes in his knock.
Twitter reacts –
Cricket fans saluted Ben Stokes for his field placement as they took to Twitter to have their say. You can read all the tweets from the fans below.
U. Khawaja 141. Bowled O. Robinson, Freaked B. Stokes. pic.twitter.com/NABUB2dCun— James Bird (@hollajamesbird) June 18, 2023
Brilliant captaincy by Ben Stokes. That's the value of building pressure even against someone batting on 141. The field placements got into Usman Khawaja's head.#Ashes— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) June 18, 2023