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Ashes 2017-18, 2nd Test Review: Mitchell Starc takes five as England fall apart on the final day

Shaun Marsh was named the man of the match for his brilliant century in the first innings as Australia takes a 2-0 lead going into the third Test.

Joe Root of England
Joe Root of England congratulates Steve Smith of Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Day 1: When England skipper Joe Root won the toss on the first day of first ever day-night Ashes Test, surprisingly he chose to bowl first. Smith didn’t mind batting first, that’s what he said. England had brought Craig Overton in the place of struggling Jake Ball. During the first 10-15 overs of the game, the English bowlers kept the Aussies on the toe as Broad, Anderson and Woakes kept bowling in the channel.

Warner and Bancroft couldn’t score freely. Just two fours in the first 14 overs. Rain played its part in the game as well as it stopped the game twice. After the stoppage, Bancroft was caught short of the crease when a direct hit from Woakes shattered the stumps. It was a horrendous mix-up between the two openers.

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Warner scored 47 runs before getting caught behind the wickets off Woakes. In came the last game’s centurion, skipper Steve Smith. Khwaja and Smith took Australia’s score to 138 before the dinner break with Khawaja remained not out for a 53 while Smith again looked confident with 25 to his name.

After Dinner though, It was England bowlers time as James Anderson had set Usman Khwaja getting out flashing to the gully. Debutant Overton ripped the stumps off of skipper Smith as the Australia looked in trouble. Shaun Marsh along with Peter Handscomb steadied the ship for Australia as they took the team to stumps without further damage with the scorecard reading 209 for 4.

On Day 2, first over, Stuart Broad pinned Peter Handscomb in front of the stumps. Wicket-keeper Tim Paine combined with Shaun Marsh for an 85-run partnership, with Paine scoring 57 of them. Marsh remained undeterred and with a help from Pat Cummins completed his century and took the Australian score over 400. Australia declared the innings for 442 for 8 with Marsh unbeaten on 126 runs. England ended the second day at 29/1 with rain delaying the play at the end of the day.

Day 3: England’s batting stumbled again as the Australians quicks and Lyon were not allowing them to score runs easily. England’s half the side was back in the pavilion for 102 runs. The sixth wicket though, well It was Nathan Lyon flying to pluck a caught and bowled. Smaller contributions from the lower order batsmen, England managed to go past 200. They failed to avoid the follow-on though when Lyon picked up his fourth of the innings as he sent England packing in the first innings for 227 runs.

With 215 runs lead, skipper Smith didn’t enforce the follow-on. Under the lights though, James Anderson looked different altogether. As he started the swing the ball and had opener Bancroft in the 3rd over the innings. Australians were in trouble as first inning’s half-centurion Khwaja and Warner went back to pavilion in successive overs. England had the big fish Smith at the fag-end of the day. The scorecard read 53 for 4.

Day 4: Neither Shaun Marsh nor Tim Paine could rescue the Australians this time as James Anderson ripped apart the middle order picking up the first-ever fifer in the Australian soil. Australians bundled out for 138 runs.

354 the target. England starts positively as Stoneman plays some glorious shots. A fifty run stand between Cook and Stoneman but again, It was Cook who departed, failing to convert his start. Stoneman followed his partner as Australia starting to build more pressure. Vince after playing for a brief moment of time with skipper Joe Root nicked one off Starc to give the Australians the upper hand. Australis in the search of more wickets lost both their reviews.

With David Malan, Root with a brilliant half-century consolidated the innings. Cummins was bowling quick when he returned with half an hour left for the end of the days play. He shattered the stumps of Malan as Australia were back in the game. Cris Woakes came in as a night watchman for the England, he kept his wickets intact with scorecard reading 176/4

The final day, skipper Root well set. England had a chance. Australia though had other things in mind as Hazelwood had the night watchman on the second ball of the day. Skipper Root failed to add a single run to his day 4 as he nicked off a beautiful ball from Hazelwood. Skipper brought the spinner Lyon who had bowled exceptionally well through the match and he didn’t disappoint as he wrapped Moeen Ali in his first over of the day with England falling apart.

Starc returned and shattered the remaining wickets as he picked up the remaining three-wickets in quick time. Starc picked five in the second innings as England were bowled out for 233 runs, falling short by 120 runs from the target.

Shaun Marsh was named the man of the match for his brilliant century in the first innings as Australia takes a 2-0 lead going into the third Test.

Brief scores:

1st inn: Australia – 442/8 decl (149) – Shaun Marsh – 126*, Craig Overton – 3/105

1st inn: England – 227/10 (76.1) – Craig Overton – 41*, Nathan Lyon – 4/60

2nd inn: Australia – 138/10 (58) – Mitchell Starc – 20, James Anderson – 5/43

2nd inn: England – 233/10 (84.2) – Joe Root – 67, Mitchell Starc – 5/88

Australia won by 120 runs

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