Ashes 2023: James Anderson gets England off to rollicking start on Day 2 of Manchester Test with wicket on opening delivery
Anderson dismissed Australian skipper Pat Cummins on the very first delivery of Day 2.
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The ongoing Ashes has been an unpredictable affair and that has added to the aura of one of the most treasured rivalries in the game of cricket. Ben Stokes' decision to bowl first at Old Trafford, Manchester, a venue where no team has won a Test after inviting the opposition team to bat first, raised a few eyebrows.
Day 1 of the fourth Test turned out to be a topsy-turvy affair with England picking up wickets at the right moments to pull Australia back whenever it seemed that they would run away with the game. The visitors ended the day at 299/8, powered by fifties from Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh. Chris Woakes stood out with the ball as he picked up four wickets. The game was tantalisingly poised heading into Day 2.
The overnight duo of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc came out to bat as the experienced James Anderson, who went wicketless on Day 1, started the proceedings. The Australian captain took guard as Anderson ran in. The right-arm seamer bowled a fullish ball which Cummins drove straight into the hands of the rival skipper at cover-point. England players rejoiced as the 40-year-old pacer gave the hosts the breakthrough off the very first ball of the day.
This was Anderson's fourth wicket in this year's Ashes. He played the first couple of matches but he lacked penetration and was subsequently left out of the side for the third Test. The veteran returned to the side for the fourth Test in place of Ollie Robinson. He didn't have anything in the wickets column to show for his efforts on the first day. However, the wicket of Cummins would have surely done his confidence a world of good.
Chris Woakes bags a five-for as England put curtains on Australia's innings.
Chris Woakes has been a game-changer for England ever since he was named in the playing XI for the third Test. He helped the home side win the third Test in the series with his all-round exploits.
The 34-year-old showed exceptional accuracy on Day 1 and bagged four wickets. Woakes scalped his fifth wicket in the morning session on Day 2 when he dismissed Josh Hazlewood for four. This was Australia's last wicket to fall as they managed a score of 317 in the first innings, adding 18 runs to their overnight total.