Twitter Reactions: The Oval Test poised as Australia gain slender lead

Australia got all out for 295 on Day 2 just before stumps.

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Todd Murphy
Todd Murphy. (Photo Source: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Day 2 of the fifth Test of the Ashes 2023 was full of action as Australia resumed their innings on 61/1 with Marnus Labuschagne (2*) and Usman Khawaja (26*) at the crease. Australia got off to a rather slow start to the day as Labuschagne was extremely cautious at the crease. His long vigil of 9 off 82 came to an end following a bizarre plan by Stuart Broad, who changed the position of the bails before Labuschagne edged off the very next ball.

Khawaja also departed soon after scoring 47, falling prey to Broad in the second session. The seamer continued his habit of picking wickets in quick succession as he made Travis Head (4) edge to Jonny Bairstow in his very next over. James Anderson and Joe Root got the scalps of Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey respectively to leave England reeling at 170/6. Wood then dismissed Mitchell Starc to further pile on the agony at the hosts on 185/7.

Steven Smith was Australia’s last hope as he held the innings together along with Pat Cummins. The duo got involved in a crucial 54-run partnership to help their side get closer to England’s total.

Todd Murphy and Pat Cummins help Australia take a slender lead

However, Smith got dismissed late in the day as he got a leading edge against Chris Woakes and was caught by keeper Bairstow for 71. Australia were still trailing by 44 runs when Todd Murphy joined captain Cummins and the duo got involved in a spectacular 49-run stand off 68 balls to earn Australia a slender lead of five runs. Murphy scored a quick-fire 34 off 39, smashing two fours and three sixes as Cummins held one end.

Their stand was broken with just a few more overs left in the day as Woakes trapped Murphy in front of the stumps. Josh Hazlewood walked in as the last batter for Australia and added six runs to the total before Cummins (36) was dismissed by Root to end the Australian innings. As a result, Australia got all out for 295, taking a 12-run as stumps were called on Day 2.

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