The Ashes – Day 2 of the First Test

[Kieran Burman | Head of TV]

Australia came onto the field with the hopes of bowling England out in the first session of the day with Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad at the stumps – ready for the day’s play.

Moeen Ali kept up yesterday’s tempo, racing to his fifty in the first few overs of the day. Broad fell  early on however, meaning Ali had to bat with the end of the tail. Ali fell shortly after Broad for 77, putting in a great shift at the end of the innings. Anderson and Wood were then left with the task of getting a few runs – to give Australia a slightly higher total to chase. Anderson was, however, bowled for 1 and that concluded England’s innings.

It was then Australia’s turn at the crease. They started off brightly, fending off Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson, reaching 26-0 before lunch was called. They chased 430. Warner was given out on 13 but it was reviewed and given ‘not out’ after the ball was pitching outside leg – so a lucky escape for Warner in the 10th over of Australia’s innings.

The first wicket of the innings was a beauty bowled by Anderson, forcing Warner to play a half volley on his off stump which was edged to Alistair Cook to take a terrific catch in the slips.

Next up was the world’s number one batsman Steve Smith, facing world’s number two bowler James Anderson. It was Anderson who took the first point, bowling the exact same ball which forced Warner to play the ball with almost the exact same outcome – however the ball dropped just short missing Cook’s hands and hitting him straight in the privates, forcing the captain off the field while his teammates – namely Joe Root – found the funny side.

Australia’s Chris Rogers was the next to reach 50 runs, his 7th in a row joining an exclusive club of just five players including ex England manager Andy Flower. Smith was also keeping his form at the other end, making the bowlers question each and every shot that he played.

The world number one was then caught out by captain Alistair Cook after spin bowler Moeen Ali saw the batsman come down the wicket to him, so bowled it a tad quicker. Smith then played one of the strangest shots ever seen, stabbing at the ball going well past his legs – but credit to Cook who put a fielder in exactly the right place at the right time. Australia’s main man was out for 33.

Rogers and Clarke batted well together, creating steady runs until Rogers was caught out in the nervous 90’s. 95 runs later and Rogers was caught behind by Buttler much to the dismay of Australia captain Michael Clarke. England arguably levelled with Australia at this stage, on 180-3 trailing by 250 runs.

The England bowlers then continued their endeavour bowling at Ashes debutant Voges and Australia’s skipper. Ali then made another breakthrough, bowling and catching Clarke for 38 another of Australia’s greater talents not reaching their huge potential.

A third batsman was dismissed in their 30’s, as Adam Voges was caught by Jimmy Anderson after hitting a ball straight into the covers off of Ben Stokes.

Nathan Lyon was then sent in as a nightwatchman, with Australia not wanting to give away another wicket before the close of play. Australia however had a very strong tail, with all 11 players capable of batting and could all cause a few problems.

Moeen Ali ended the day as the pick of the bowlers – getting two very important wickets and putting Australia in a little bit of danger. Runs also came Ali’s way, who has proved to be just as useful with the bat as he is with the ball.

Australia ended the day on 263 for 5 with Lyon and Watson at the crease. Another very entertaining day of cricket – let’s see what day 3 brings!

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The Ashes – Day 2 of the First Test