ENG vs AUS: Joe Root takes absolute blinder to cut short Marnus Labuschagne's misery on Day 2 of final Ashes Test
Joe Root's sensational catch ends Marnus Labuschagne's resistance on Day 2 of the ongoing final Ashes Test.
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Day 2 of the fifth Ashes Test commenced with Australia continued their innings from overnight's score of 61/1, accompanied by Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne. Their alliance appeared promising for a substantial partnership, but it was abruptly interrupted by an astounding catch taken by Joe Root to dismiss Labuschagne, off the bowling of Mark Wood.
Notably, the Australian batter ended up knicking a delivery, and Root's incredible reflexes allowed him to take a one-handed screamer, which was initially confusing as Bairstow, the wicketkeeper, stayed put instead of going for it. Nonetheless, Root's quick reaction secured the wicket, and Marnus's miserable blockathon came to an end.
During the first innings, Carey's hesitancy resulted in a missed opportunity when he failed to grasp an almost similar catch offered by the English batter, Harry Brook. In contrast, Bairstow demonstrated composure and attentiveness, standing firm and allowing Joe Root to complete the catch.
The England pacer, Mark Wood, bowled a lightening fast delivery, which was slightly short of length just outside the off-stump, whereby Marnus decided to poke at it down the line. However, the extra bounce extracted off the surface meant that the ball rushed past between the first slip and the keeper, yet Root's vigilance thwarted the ball's passage to hand the hosts a crucial wicket in the first session of Day 2.
Brook played gritty knock to guide England to respective total, Australia started cautiously
Earlier on Day 1, Australia wrapped up England's innings for 283, with Mitchell Starc taking a four-wicket haul, and Josh Hazlewood and Tom Murphy picking up two wickets each. Meanwhile, England's explosive batter Harry Brook played an impressive knock of 85 for England, but apart from him, the other batters got starts but failed to convert them into significant scores.
Speaking of Australia, opener David Warner continued his dismal run as he failed to convert his start into a significant knock. Thereafter, Usman Khawaja looked calm and composed at the crease but Marnus Labuschagne failed to get going to raise a crucial stand. Despite that after the veteran batter Steve Smith arrived at the crease, the pair have looked solid until the end of the first session. Currently, Australia are 115/2 at lunch.
Looking ahead, Australia aims to conclude the series with a 3-1 margin, while England seeks victory in this test, aspiring to end the series with a 2-2 scoreline. It is important to note that Australia has already retained the Ashes series, with the fourth test falling victim to a rain-induced washout.