The Ashes, 2019
Venue: Lord's, London
Date: 14 August-18 August, 2019
RR: 3.24 | England drew with Australia
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 - the latter playing his debut Test - lit up the Lord's. Hazlewood rocked up England's top order while Jofra Archer went for the head 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.
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.
Interesting. The umpires feel that it is too dark right now. They reckon that Jofra Archer cannot bowl as his pace is too quick for the batsmen under this light. It has to be spin and Joe Denly it is to bowl.
Pat Cummins walks out now. Counting the balls, are both the teams...
Tim Paine walks in at number 7, replacing Wade. The door has been kicked wide open. England need 5 wickets. 65 balls remaining. Leach is on a hat-trick as well! Men everywhere. 4 men around the wicket plus the keeper.
The physio is out in the middle to check on Wade. Just having a look at the helmet. The norm these days.
The match livens up again. 72 balls left. 6 wickets needed. Matthew Wade comes out to bat.
Labuschagne is caught! The umpires want to check that though for legality. The soft signal is OUT. Here come the replays. Has Joe Root taken that cleanly? Has the ball bounced before? From one angle, it seems like the ball has bounced. From another, it looks like it is clean. Third umpire Joel Wilson feels it is a wicket.
Jofra Archer is back for a final burst. 10-2-26-2 so far. He might well bowl 7 on the trot here.
DRINKS BREAK. So Root is indeed taking the final hour. England have thrown everything that they had at Australia but Labuschagne and Head have played superbly. Guess Joe wants to give Jofra one final spell. If the hosts manage to pick up a wicket or two quickly, victory might still be in their grasp. The conditions have become bright and sunny, so if Joe Root wants to bowl all the 15 overs, he might be able to do it.
Joe Root brings himself on. After this over, he has a decision to make. Either shake hands with the batsmen and call this game off. Or take the final hour and bowl the remaining 15 overs, whichever comes later.
Spin again! Leach will look to use the rough.
A bit of a delay. Stokes is switching angle and coming from around the wicket. Head is waiting for the sightscreen to get moved. Also, a window is open somewhere and he has that closed.
Ben Stokes to bowl now. 22 overs left in the day.
Root reviews one! May not be a bad call. Labuschagne has been hit in front but has been adjudged not out. Woakes feels it might be a bit high. Here comes Ball Tracker. Impact is outside off. Review lost by England but they may not mind it too much.
Is this the first time in this whole match? England are trying desperately to get the ball changed. Chris Woakes shows it to umpire Chris Gaffaney who passes it through the 8-shaped gauge and then tosses it back to the bowler. Woakes smiles. At Edgbaston, both teams were aiming to change the ball frequently. But unsuccessfully.
Change from both the ends as Woakes is on. Also, lights are on. There is some rain coming in from the south-west. Hopefully, it misses us.
Broad time as Archer gets some rest. One guesses it will be a while before Jofra returns. Root is lucky that he can throw the ball to a person who can give you wickets at this time of the day. Who better than Broad to finish this Aussie batting off? Michael Atherton reckons that it is 7 times that Broad has taken a 5-fer in a single spell. Yes. Single spell. 60 all out fresh in memory? An 8th 5-fer might do well here.
Travis Head is the next man for Australia. They are looking in a spot of bother here. Jofra Archer to continue from the other end for England.
The English players are out in the field. Labuschagne and Bancroft walk to the middle now. Leach to start the proceedings for England. Labuschagne to face first up.
... Day 5, Session 3 ...
Coming to the visitors' batting, this phase reminds us of the 70s and 80s when West Indian bowlers used to terrorize the opposition batsmen. Australia need to find a way not only to survive but do so with dignity. Even if they do not get all out, losing more than 6 wickets would send a negative message and that is something they would want to avoid. Want to. But can they? Join us back at 5 pm local (1600 GMT) for the final stages of this riveting match.
Of course, England's bowling is not all about Jofra, is it? Broad and Woakes are terrific in their own right, while Jack Leach, in the solitary over that he bowled before the break, got some cobras to spit around. Australia will have their hands full.
There were doubts whether Joe Root declared a bit too late to give his bowlers enough time to bowl Australia out. Turns out that he is in a good shape to scare the visitors out of their wits and also level the series with the kind of bowling which has been exhibited in the 13 overs bowled.
Whoa, this Test is alive and kicking! 35 overs left and 8 wickets needed. Any doubts whether England can win this or not? Lot to do with the fiery Archer. Scary Archer. Pumped up Archer. We are going to have a frenetic final session for sure.
Spinner on now. Jack Leach is into the attack. Feel it is to get one over done quickly so that Jofra can have one more burst before Tea.
Change of ends for Jofra Archer.
Chris Woakes is into the attack for the hosts. He replaces Archer who was doing very well and also took both the wickets of this innings.
Concussion test for the one who is substituting for the concussed? This is something new. Labuschagne is giving a thumbs up, showing that he is okay but the physio is out in the middle. A new helmet comes out for Marnus. Boy, are Australia already looking for the overs remaining in the day? All ready to go now.
Marnus Labuschagne is the new man in. He was not in the actual playing XI but has come into the side as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith, who has been the best batsman in this series. Big shoes to fill for Labuschagne.
Usman Khawaja walks out at number 3.
Speedster, Jofra Archer to bowl from the other end.