The Ashes, 2019
Venue: Headingley, Leeds
Date: 22 August-26 August, 2019
RR: 2.88 | England beat Australia by 1 wicket
Right. Jack Leach to face. Just 2 needed. A tickle here and there, a push and England will make this 1-1.
Tim Paine playing for some time. He has called for a review which looks a very bad call. Seems to be pitching miles outside leg. Don't think this is desperate, but just delaying the inevitable. Ball Tracker shows the pitching to be outside leg. Both reviews gone for Australia, though don't think it will matter.
Short leg in. Leg gully in. Be ready to smell the leather.
Tim Paine ringing in the bowling changes. Nerves everywhere. Pat Cummins replaces Josh Hazlewood after the latter went for 19 in his last over. 23-5-66-1 so far.
People crowding Leach. Two slips, a short leg and a silly point.
Final gamble from Paine. This could be match over in this over itself. Nathan Lyon to bowl. 37-5-107-2. Went for 13 in his previous over...
Field adjustment for the number 11.
Gamble by Tim Paine. He removes his off spinner after getting treatment by Ben Stokes. Pat Cummins is on. 22-5-55-1 so far.
Is everything okay? Stokes walks across and has a chat with his partner. After a few seconds, the thumbs up comes up from Leach to him and the dressing room. Fighting it out...
A bit of a delay again. Some juice and painkillers coming out. Should be good enough to stay long till those 49 runs are made. The Aussie balcony is tensed. Smith and Langer are pensive. Everyone taking a breather now. Composing themselves. All right. Here we go again. Ben Stokes vs Australia, Round 2.
Two slips and a gully in place. There is a bat-pad in place, standing really close to the batsman at short leg. A leg gully is also present.
Just a bit of a delay as Ben Stokes wants a different bat. Shane Warne on air says that this is the bat which was used in the World Cup final. Another heroic day coming up?
Three men out for the sweep.
Jack Leach is the number 11 batsman. Can Pattinson finish things off here?
Stuart Broad has been adjudged LBW! He is quick to refer it. Is there any bat? Ultra Edge comes...and it shows that there is NO BAT. Broad is a goner!
Stuart Broad comes in at number 10. All he needs to do, is hang around with Ben Stokes. Just a bit of confusion as to whether the batsmen crossed or not. Yup, they have. So Broady will be on strike.
Is that a legal catch? Is that the end of Archer? Umpire Wilson refers it upstairs with the soft signal as OUT. Travis Head has taken a good catch under pressure at the mid-wicket fence. And replays confirm that the 8th wicket is indeed down.
'Hang on, hang on, hang on there, boys!' shouts Tim Paine.
Drinks break. 39 runs and 3 wickets in the 17 overs of play post Lunch. Australia have made a resounding comeback. England though will be still hoping to pull it off as Ben Stokes is standing in the middle, looking in full control. Another 82 runs to go and it promises to go right down to the wire.
Nathan Lyon (33-5-72-1) returns into the attack. A slip, gully and silly point in place. No one in the deep for the slog sweep.
Double change in bowling. Pat Cummins (21-5-50-1) also returns into the attack. 93 more needed for a win.
Two fielders deep on the leg side for Archer. Will he take on the bowler?
James Pattinson (19-6-38-0) is back into the attack. He will have to maintain the same pressure that Hazlewood was keeping.
Jofra Archer is the new batsman.
Physio there near the boundary line! He is taping Lyon's left thumb, importantly not his bowling hand. Maybe he hurt himself while breaking the stumps during that run out.
Chris Woakes is the new batsman.
JOS BUTTLER IS RUN OUT! The Kangaroos are jumping up and down in celebration. Travis Head has produced a direct hit. The umpire is checking it upstairs. Buttler is miles short in the replays.
Jos Buttler is the new batsman. Straightaway a short cover comes into place. Usman Khawaja is the fielder. He caught Buttler there in the first innings. So definitely Australia have picked a chink in Buttler's armour.
Appeal for a caught behind! FINGER GOES UP! Jonny Bairstow immediately refers it. Ultra Edge finds nothing. Continue batting, Jonny.
Josh Hazlewood to share the attack from the other end after Lunch.
Two slips for Ben Stokes.
Back for more Test cricket! The way England batted before Lunch, it's looking more one-sided from hereon. But, the first 30 minutes will give us a clearer picture. The men concerned are out in the middle. Australia would have regrouped and thought about their plans. Another 120 runs for them to play with. Nathan Lyon, the most threatening bowler this morning, to kickoff proceedings...
... DAY 4, SECOND SESSION ...
So, the equation now has come down to - 121 runs and 6 wickets! England are the firm favourites from hereon and Australia need to produce a magical performance just like they did on Day 2. Can they succeed? Or will England continue to march towards victory? Do join us in a short while to find out.
Australia started the day's play with a plan to not give any easy runs. They bowled four straight maiden overs at the beginning and were executing the plan quite well. However, once the second new ball was taken, they completely lost the plot. Their pacers sprayed it around and the English batsmen made merry. Runs came thick and fast and it took all the pressure away from the hosts. Only Nathan Lyon bowled with some control and got good purchase from the surface as well. His spell holds the key as far as the Australians are concerned.
What a session! England bossed it and have put themselves in the driving seat. There was an early casualty when Warner's stunning catch dismissed the English skipper but Australia failed to capitalize on that opening. Jonny Bairstow batted positively and soon it brushed on Ben Stokes as well. The southpaw had a nervy beginning but he settled down and now, the current stand is worth 79 runs and run rate of this partnership is 4.27. Outstanding work under pressure by this pair.
Last over before Lunch and it will be bowled by Marnus Labuschagne. He's worth a punt at this stage. Has bowled decent 5 overs so far.
Still some issue with something near the sightscreen. The reserve umpire is out there getting things corrected.
Some disturbance near the sightscreen. Slight hold up in play. The players wait and we resume after everything is fixed.
Nathan Lyon is brought back into the attack. Australia need to snatch the momentum back from England.
As expected, Pat Cummins is back on. Three slips waiting...
Pat Cummins is warming up.
Australia have not been quite there with the second new ball. They were relentless with their lines with the first new ball but have been spraying it around with the second new nut. The visitors are feeling the pressure, feels Michael Atherton after looking at the pitch map. The advice is to bowl a boring line and length and dry out the runs.
Change of ends for Josh Hazlewood. This Test match is fast slipping away from the Aussies. They need to break this partnership quickly.
Australia want to regain some control. In comes James Pattinson to provide that.
Drinks break. An hour of Day 4 done and we have already witnessed some exciting Test cricket. England have managed to score 30 runs but also lost the key wicket of Joe Root. The second new nut is only few overs old and the Aussies would love to make full use of it. There is plenty of support on offer for their bowlers and the next hour also promises to be brilliant.
Josh Hazlewood to share the new cherry from the other end. He has 7 wickets in the match so far and would love a 10-wicket haul.
SECOND NEW BALL TAKEN! Three slips and a gully. No mid off.
Second new ball is available now! But it has not been taken by Australia straightaway. However, there is a change in bowling. Pat Cummins to bowl for the first time this morning...
Jonny Bairstow is the new batsman with exactly 200 runs needed.
Three more overs left for the second new ball. In comes Nathan Lyon to bowl two of them, maybe. He's been wicket-less for quite some time.
Physio comes out. Stokes is looking fine and trying to fix the extra protection on his helmet. A few concerned looking Aussies also surround him. All is well and we are ready to continue...
Josh Hazlewood (18-6-35-2) to operate from the other end.
Time to play the game! The players are already on the field. Joe Root and Ben Stokes stride out amidst a good ovation from the crowd. It's bright and sunny looking like great batting conditions. James Pattinson to kickoff proceedings. 2-0 or 1-1, let's find out...
Three days of enthralling action, with both teams domination at some point of time. This has been the story of the Leeds Test so far as we enter into the fourth day which very well could be the final day. After weathering the storm last evening, England have brought themselves into a position from where they can seriously challenge the Aussies. Joe Root has struck form at the best possible time and his century partnership with Joe Denly has made sure that Australia don't run away with the Ashes. Having said that, it's a new day which will bring new challenges and with another 203 runs to get, this game is wide open. Needless to say, the morning session will give us a hint of which way this clash will be heading. 8 overs to go for the second new ball and that may have a big say on the outcome. We are not far away from the start, stay tuned.
... DAY 4, FIRST SESSION ...
Right! 203 to win. 7 wickets in hand. 196 overs left in the game. But we will not need those! Because unless the weather intervenes, this game will not see a Day 5 for sure. Will Joe Root get to his first ever century in the 4th innings? Will Nathan Lyon be able to get back to wicket-taking ways on Sunday? Will the effect of Saturday's tiring work go awry or pay good heeds for the Aussie bowlers? Join us on Sunday, 25th August, 2019 at 11 am local (1000 GMT) for all the action from Day 4 which should also be the final day of this Test. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Perhaps this is the day which bowling coaches want to see. When the ball is moving around, many a bowler gets a wicket. But when the ball is doing nothing, it is the discipline and the patience of the bowlers which get tested. Australia had plenty. Cummins, Hazlewood and Pattinson kept clocking in high speeds and bowled tirelessly, beating the inside and outside edges, but without luck. Then, came the massive strangulation - 9-3-7-1 between Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon which eventually got rid of Joe Denly. It would have been easy for a bowling unit to get frustrated and leak runs. But on a good pitch with not much swing around, Australia only gave away runs at just over 2 an over, a testimony to their discipline. That has ensured that in spite of the century stand, England have not run away with the game. Yet.
Joe Denly. Who is he? With all due respect, not many know about this man. This guy has scored over 11,000 first-class runs and Saturday was the day when he made the world notice. Had a few nervy moments but importantly, he rode those and moved ahead. Eventually, it took a brute from Josh Hazlewood to get rid of the Canterbury-born. His score reads 50 from 155 balls but only he knows how easy he has made life for the rest of his batting mates.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Welcome back, Joe Root. He has arrived in the Ashes at last. A knock which pretty much defines his character. Absorbing all the overlaying pressure then slowly but surely, transferring it back to the opposition. He, along with Denly, fought Australia patiently and in a stand worth 126, kept the hungry Aussies at bay.
Yes! We have a Day 4! The game is alive. How many times did we feel in this Test that the game is gone? First, when the Aussies were 'bundled out' for 179. Then, when England were blown away for 67. Then, this morning, when they were 15/2 in the 7th over. But the two Joes joined forces and ensured that they gave no chance to their foe.
Nathan Lyon to bowl the final over of the day.
Pat Cummins (14-3-32-1) is back for one final burst before Stumps.
Marnus Labuschagne to bowl with 11 minutes left in the day. 4-0-11-0 so far.
'C'mon guys, c'mon guys, c'mon guys, put the pressure on, put the pressure on, put the pressure on, we can get two more tonight!' A sleepy Predicto Praky suddenly has his eyeballs pop out on hearing that. '2 more?' he asks. Well, he has got something to look forward in the remaining 26 minutes...
Kamtishwar - 'Where is Patto? Where is Patto? Where is Patto? Oh looks like Paine has heard me.' Yes. Telepathy, mate. James Pattinson is back on for a final burst. 10-3-19-0 so far.
Ben Stokes arrives in the middle. He got out playing a very ordinary shot in the last innings and would like to correct that this time around. England have a good platform courtesy the last stand and all he needs to do is to partner his skipper.
A run out? Direct hit but Root looks to be in.
Drinks break. England are going strength from strength and this partnership has put them in a strong position. They still require 221 runs to level the series and hence cannot afford to relax a single bit. Australia have been decent with their bowling efforts but without much success. They will have to stay patient and focus on execution. Good part is that they are not leaking runs and keep England under check in that part. 21 more overs to go before Stumps. Can they pick a wicket or two?
Oh... we thought he had gone off. Finally, after an age, Paine turns to Nathan Lyon. 11-0-31-0 so far. But crucially, 15 in 3 since Tea. England have played him much better after that opening Test.
Joe Root has been adjudged LBW. But he has straightaway signalled for the review. Seems to be a massive inside edge. Yup. The first replay confirms it. Huge, massive inside edge.
The leg gully has gone very fine. Almost at leg slip. The plan of action should be on and around the batsman's rib cage.
Josh Hazlewood is back on. 11-2-32-1 from him, so far.
A short backward square leg is already there and now a short leg also comes in.
Josh Hazlewood is loosening up. Australia desperately need a breakthrough.
Pat Cummins (10-3-18-1) returns into the attack, replacing Nathan Lyon.
James Pattinson to bowl. 5-1-11-0 so far.
We're back for the final session of the day. A big one for both teams. Australia would like to make amends and break the ongoing partnership as soon as possible. On the contrary, England will be delighted if Root and Denly manage to see off the day's play. The pitch seems to have eased out a bit after bathing in the sunlight all afternoon and it's now up to the skills of the Aussie bowlers. Nathan Lyon will be crucial. He will be kicking off this session.
... DAY 3, THIRD SESSION ...
On the flip side, the batsmen are coming after a break. Many times, a wicket falls after a break. If that happens, Australia will channel their hunger again. The pitch is not doing much but they will hope to get at least half the side back in the dressing room before they shut their own shop for the day. Join us back at 4.30 pm local (1530 GMT).
The second session is often called as the best one to bat on and England, albeit not making too many runs, have not lost too many wickets either. Now, comes the final session. This is usually a bowler's session but because England have not lost a wicket for so long, it could also mean that Australia are mentally tired and it is now time to feast. 38 overs left in the day, score more than 100 and ensure that the Ashes is still alive come Sunday.
It is often said that Test cricket is a test of one's character. David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne showed it on Thursday. Now, it is time for England. Root and Denly came together when the ball was moving like a hoop but to their credit, they gutted it out. Got some edges, got beaten but did not get out. They played on and on, tiring the Aussie bowlers and eventually succeeded in forcing Paine to bring on Marnus Labuschagne, the fifth bowler, which means, the fast bowlers were getting tired. Both the batsmen have faced more than 15 overs, which means that they have understood the pitch by now.
Fantastic session for England. The entire crowd stands up as one and applauds. The run rate is a bit low but who cares when you have 8 sessions to score a shade above 350? That is roughly just 45 a session and they have got more than that. Crucially, they lost just two wickets and those were pretty early, when many predicted that the game would be done today itself. Well, Joe and Joe have played toe to toe and ensured that there is a fight. Actually, more than a fight. We have a game, folks. We have a game.
Nasser Hussain throws the spotlight on Australia's plan to get rid of Joe Denly in this series. They pepper him with a few bouncers and then leave the cover open, inviting him to drive. Denly has obliged so far in this series and nicked behind. Here too, he has been polite to accept the frequent invitations but has been helped by Lady Luck with the ball either not taking the edge or the edges not carrying and going in gaps.
Pat Cummins (8-1-18-1) returns into the attack.
Pat Cummins is loosening up...
Right then, with nothing much happening, Tim Paine has tossed the ball to a part-timer. Marnus Labuschagne to bowl some leg spin. A slip and short leg in place.
Interesting talk from Shane Warne. He says that after Stumps yesterday, he had a chat with Tim Paine, who recounts an incident before Hazlewood dismissed Jack Leach. The question asked by Paine was about the field setting Joshua would like. The answer, 'I don't care. I am going to bowl two bouncers and then get him out bowled.' And Hazlewood does exactly that. Something even the King Of Spin used to do in his hay days. Anyone remembers how he got out Marlon Samuels and Herschelle Gibbs in the 2000s? Predicted and then got them out in the same fashion. Genius. Legend.
It is Josh Hazlewood again. 7-2-14-1 so far. Around 45 minutes to go to Tea.
DRINKS BREAK. A good passage of play for England. They lost their openers pretty quickly but the two Joes have ensured that there is not a collapse. It has been a good partnership, reading 32, soaking in the pressure and picking bricks out of the target, slowly but surely. Australia have bowled well but these two have tested their patience.
Spin time. Nathan Lyon is back on. Just a solitary over for 4. A slip and a short leg in place.
James Pattinson to bowl now.
Ricky Ponting on air informs us that Cameron Bancroft is on as a substitute for James Pattinson. Does not reckon he will be on for too long though.
Third slip is moved to fourth, fourth-and-a-half slip. Ricky Ponting on air wants the deep square leg to be removed as well. He says that Denly's first reaction to a short ball is to close his eyes. So might as well get that square leg to the slip cordon and plug the gap. Michael Holding joins in, says that Paine is almost challenging Denly to buy a lottery ticket of getting the ball through that slip cordon. But there is this gap between the second slip and gully, which, according to these experts, should be plugged. And rightly so.
The physio is out in the middle again. The good thing is that Joe Denly is smiling. Looks to be a bit jarred as well. This is the first time that an England batsman has been hit on the helmet. It has been or less Aussie batsmen getting hit ever since Jofra Archer has been inducted into the playing XI...
Joe Denly arrives in the middle. He was the only English batsman to get a score in double digits in the first innings.
What happened there? It seems Jason Roy was not ready and Hazlewood was already mid-way through his run-up. Josh has to pull out and reload.
Joe Root is in next at 3. Two back-to-back ducks behind him and he is under pressure.
Josh Hazlewood returns from this end.
Welcome back for the afternoon session. The England batsmen have a task in hand and have a lot of time too. The Australian bowling would come out firing. With some rough patches there on the pitch it needs to be seen what does Lyon have in store for the English line-up. The pitch is still good for the pacers. Let's see how things go from here.
... DAY 3, SESSION 2 ...
Safely negotiated! England will be relieved that there was no casualty in the brief period before Lunch. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were getting good movement and bounce from the surface and they would be eager to return on the field and put the English batsmen to test. From England's point of view, they will be planning to take it session by session. In total, 8 sessions are left and the remaining 348 runs can be chased down. But if you include the challenge of this pitch and the ordinary form of the England batting department, it becomes really challenging. Can the hosts step up with the bat and keep their Ashes hopes alive? Do join us in a short while for the post Lunch session.
Jason Roy making sure it's the last ball before Lunch. He is taking his own sweet time in marking his guard.
Some movement near the sightscreen. Rory Burns wants the spectators to settle down.
Spin time! Nathan Lyon to bowl the fourth over of this innings. A slip in place along with a silly point.
Josh Hazlewood, the star of the show in the first innings, is ready to bowl again. Three slips and a gully waiting.
Physio comes out! Rory Burns' right thumb is bleeding after taking that blow. He gets the affected area taped but is still feeling some discomfort while putting the gloves. He wants more taping. This is taking too long. Anyway, all done down and Rory gets ready to face Cummins again.