Short ball vs Bazball as England reduce deficit to 138

On Day 2 at Lord’s, the top three English players were unable to achieve significant personal milestones. Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Zak Crawley were all sent out for a combined total of 42 runs. On Thursday, June 29, an entertaining phase of play occurred when Australia’s short-ball strategies proved to be too much for England hitters. But with their positive attitude and a continuous 56-run partnership between Harry Brook and Ben Stokes. The hosts were able to reduce the lead to 138. In the end, the hosts won 278 to 4 to Australia’s 416. Mitchell Starc, Cameron Green, and Josh Hazlewood took over after dismissing Nathan Lyon, Australia’s top bowler.

Crawley, who had been cautious in opening his bat, earned four runs . As a result of two boundaries against Mitchell Starc and a straight drive for a four off Pat Cummins. Given the barrage of boundaries that both Duckett and Crawley hit, Hazlewood’s participation in the assault was of little significance. Up until Nathan Lyon stumped Crawley with two runs left on the board, they added another 91 runs. Pope, who was a little annoyed but scored at a good pace and supplied the majority of the runs in a half-century partnership with Duckett, got hurt while fielding and was forced to miss a significant amount of time.

Prior to hammering one off Starc to the midwicket fence when he needed one to reach fifty. Duckett went more than 30 deliveries without a boundary. It was dry before the tea break. Duckett’s boundary off Lyon broke the fifty-run partnership during England’s second session, resulting in 132 runs in 26 overs. After tea, Duckett faced many difficulties as a result of Green’s inconsistently long and short delivery. It angered him. But as the second wicket pair neared a century-stand, Green made a couple overstepping errors.

Australia suffered a significant setback when Lyon left the match with what seemed to be a right calf injury. When Pope went into a draw too quickly and ran into Smith in the deep. The second wicket stand, which had been going well, was broken up by three runs. Then Smith was out for 42. Green should have been out together with Joe Root on a short ball to the wicketkeeper. The batsman was kept at the crease because the bowler once more overstepped.

Despite Warner taking a catch at long leg and Duckett top-edging a pull off Hazlewood, Australia’s tenacity with short balls paid off. Root also fell as a result of Starc’s short pitch, and Steve Smith made an excellent one-handed catch despite some controversy around the play’s legality. The quick deliveries impressed Marnus Labuschagne, who was fortunate to stop Harry Brook when he tried to con Cummins. Ben Stokes watched as Brook continued to push the boundaries of their nearly 50-year association from the other side. Before giving Smith the final over, Australia tried in vain for five overs to induce errors in the English hitters.

Smith became the man to achieve 32 Test hundreds the fastest before England quickly put an end to Australia’s inning in the opening session. On yet another overcast morning, Smith helped Australia pass the 400-mark. Despite Alex Carey and Starc losing earlier in the day, Smith blasted a barrage of boundaries to reach the three-figure milestone. As a result, he moved up to fourth place in the Ashes run standings and became just the fourth foreign player to amass 2000 Test runs in England.

Josh Tongue, who Smith was trying to play a drive off of, gave him a hard outside edge, ending Smith’s at-bat. Duckett managed to hang on to a fantastic, low grab in the gully. Before Ollie Robinson took the final two wickets and Australia lost their final seven for an additional 100 runs, Cummins and Lyon had helped them reach 400 runs. After that, the first innings players for England handled the challenging stretch of four overs before lunch with ease.

Brief scores:

 Australia 416 (Steve Smith 110, Travis Head 77; Josh Tongue 3-98, Ollie Robinson 3-100) lead England 278/4 (Ben Duckett 98, Zak Crawley 48, Harry Brook 45*; Nathan Lyon 1-35) by 138 runs

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