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Ashes 2017-18, 2nd Test – 5 Talking Points

Here are the 5 Talking Points of the second Test.

 Josh Hazlewood of Australia
Josh Hazlewood of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Joe Root. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

At the close of an absorbing fourth day’s play in the first day-night Ashes Test, England were 176 for four with spirited skipper Joe Root unconquered on 67, along with nightwatchman Chris Woakes. The Englishmen were looking to create history and turn dramatic encounter in their favour. With captain Joe Root unbeaten after fourth day’s play and England still had 6 wickets in hand, the thought was expected to turn into action.

However, the dominance of Australians at their home soil continues as they were able to send captain Root and nightwatchman Woakes back to the pavilion early in the final day’s play. Chris Woakes being the first to depart and Australians were able to put England on backfoot. The sudden target started to look so far away.

Though England Team began the day with high hopes but Australia were on top with the ball and thoroughly deserved to go two up in all-important Ashes 2017-18. Australian pace spearhead, Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowler for Australia picking 5 for 88 runs.

Here are the 5 Talking Points of the second Test:

1. Shaun Marsh registers his fifth Test hundred

Shaun Marsh’s fifth Test hundred has left Australia with their foot on England’s throat in the second Test. Marsh’s ton triggered adulation from the players’ balcony and apologies from elsewhere. Marsh has been among the country’s most maligned players and beyond Australia’s selection panel, his teammates and those close to him there had not been a tidal wave of support for his inclusion in the Ashes squad last month. With this century under his belt, he has definitely been able to all questions at rest which further helped his team to be on top.

2. England’s top-order collapse

After Australians put mammoth 442 runs on the board, England Team was expected to match their standards. However, things didn’t go as per the plans for Englishmen as their top-order collapsed for just 102 runs, putting themselves on backfoot in first day-night Test between two nations. Some fightback was shown by C Overton and Chris Woakes who added 70 odd runs helping England to put 227 runs in their first innings.

3. Anderson produce his best figures against Australia

With nothing going England’s way, this was the only milestone to cherish for James Anderson personally and for their team as well. On a docile wicket, he was able to extract bounce and move the ball away from the right-handers. Bancroft was the first to go, playing away from the line helping Anderson to register his first. The next in the line were Khawaja, Handscomb, Lyon, and Starc making his wicket tally reach 514.

4. Root-Malan Partnership

After Australia’s dominance on first three days, there was some spirited fight shown by skipper Joe Root and middle-order batsman Dawid Malan, who were on the verge to create a famous win against their arch-rival Australia, which would have even helped England to level the series. The duo was able to add crucial 78 runs partnership before Malan was sent back to the pavilion by Pat Cummings.

5. Hazelwood sends spirited Root back to pavilion and rest done by Starc

Early on day 5, Australian spearhead, Josh Hazelwood struck in consecutive overs making the target look beyond Englishmen’s reach. Root ‘s unbeaten half-century after fourth day’s play had put some momentum to shift England’s way, which didn’t last long as Hazelwood produced a blinder delivery, pitching outside off asking Root to play away from his body which eventually took a tiny bottom edge. His counterpart, Mitchell Starc did the rest, picking five for 88.

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