Another huge day in the context of this series. With England flagging already and Australia still looking the better of the two sides. Australia started the day in a commanding position in the second test with lots of room to build on their first day score.
Broad opened up the bowling for England To Handscomb, with Australia on 209-4 after 81 overs but that did not last for long. Handscomb was brilliantly caught on the pads in front of the sumps by Broad, who was more than happy to take his wicket. 209-5. He really looked jittery yesterday and today and 36 was more than lucky. A Huge wicket for England making the days score 0-1. Or 1-0 depending on which hemisphere you come from.
Paine came in, instantly greeted by Stuart Broad right in his face, and a barrage of bouncers and short balls from Anderson, who normally bowls better than this. Paine read them excellently. Jimmy couldn’t quite find that form Broad was, beating the edge of Paine early on, but still not putting too many balls short. Broad However, at the other end was still looking absolute class. He just missed the edge of Marsh a couple times. Really good intensity from Australia’s most wanted.
Just as the first 5 overs had been quality, probably producing just as many top balls as the day before, but the next few got the two batsman started to settle in a little bit, starting to hit boundaries. The wicket has really offered something up this morning but the batsman were fairly equal to it. England had two dismissals overturned by DRS not long after with two Jimmy Anderson balls being judged to go over the top. Still needed to pitch it up a bit. These fantastic DRS reviews really make you miss Shane Watson. They wouldn’t have any more left by this time if he was still playing. It’s much more fun when the batsmen get it badly wrong.
Tim Paine swashbuckled his way to a 50, riding his luck a fair bit, especially off the bowling of Overton, but rotated the strike well playing two or three gorgeous shots. He is really proving he deserves his place in the team. He really was unfortunate that Brad Haddin was so good because he lost a lot of what should have been an international career. Definitely looking hurt after taking a couple on the fingers however. Physio needed to just give him a check up. Marsh is playing and missing at everything in sight, but still accumulating well. Both batsmen certainly riding their luck.
Overton got his second wicket in a debut performance that has probably deserved more. Tim Paine was the man to go, with England finally managing to break another annoying Shaun Marsh partnership. Very well played by Tim Paine today, with a fairly quick 57 added to the Host’s score. His demise came from a hook shot dollied to Moeen at deep square. Very good innings, and needed from Australia. A classic Haddin-esque innings, especially with a finger that looked very bad indeed.
Starc came in with the score on 294-6, briefly adding another 6 runs to the total before top edging a pull shot out of anger from Broad’s bowling. Easy take from Anderson at midwicket. Broad was fantastic in this, I guess, morning session? Australia were on 311-7.
Cummins was looking to add to the form showed at the Gabba, with a magnificent 42 taking the game out of England’s hands. Marsh continued to push on, playing one of the shots of the series, a beautiful cover drive well received by the Adelaide crowd. England used up one of their review with a Marsh LBW shout which just pitched outside the line. Australia found themselves in a really good position at 321-7 at ten to five, meaning that they have a fair few overs to bowl to England under the lights in a pitch that seems to just get better for the bowlers.
Billy the Barmy Army trumpeter sounds surprisingly like he is playing a saxophone. Oh, not Billy, it’s someone with a saxophone. Wait what?
Cummins was close to being dismissed for a 32 ball duck with his thick edge not carrying with an absolutely dead bounce still coming from that end. Cummins finally off the mark with an uppish cut shot after 37 balls faced.
The partnership continued just batting on through the afternoon session, each run scored another dagger in the hopes of the English following. Mexican waves soon flowed around the ground as the cricket got slower, as expected at any Ashes test match that isn’t at Lords. And congratulations to Stuart Broad for no longer being the most booed person in this series, with the entire members section getting the treatment for not joining in.
Just before the dinner break Marsh brought up his century and the 400. England in trouble here…..
Australia looking likely to declare at tea and put England in under the lights. Their best bet looks like playing for a draw with Australia batting for the best part of two days.
Australia finished the afternoon session on 409-7 with Marsh on 103 and Cummins scoring quickly at the end on 44. The hosts decided not to declare in a decision found rather strange by most. If I was Steve Smith, I would be telling Cook and Stoneman to get their pads on.
Overton got his third of the innings straight after the break, taking the wicket of Cummins for jabbing it to Malan at deep backwards point. Made no mistake with this one. only two drops so far by England. 410-8
Lyon came out all guns blazing at ten, promoted after his quick fire cameo at the Gabba. Flapping around like a chicken attempting flight for the first time, he played and missed several before launching Overton behind square for 6.
The last over England was given to Stuart Broad who got sent for a single, two fours and a huge six, straight down the ground. Australia adding 33 after the break to finish on 442-8 declared. Marsh and Lyon finished off the innings with 126 and 10, respectively. Another strong innings by the hosts, who again built up partnership after partnership, making England look average
Overton and Broad were the pick of the bowlers, unfortunate to not get more wickets. Anderson suffered two wicket reversals by DRS with Moeen Ali yet again struggling to impress with the ball. I’m still wondering if he is good enough to be England’s frontline spinner, with Mason Crane licking his lips at the prospect of getting a call up for the third test. England are still missing Ben stokes, and I, for one was very surprised that James Vince still has not been given the ball, as he is a very tidy Medium pacer very capable of getting a wicket. This is a huge innings for Cook who desperately needs runs.
Unsurprisingly, Starc opened up to Cook, hoping to take his wicket again. Both Cook and Stoneman got off the mark early with singles. Hazlewood bowling at the other end, hoping to bowl like he did in the second innings at the Gabba, rather than the first. The England batsman were very much looking to emulate the positive running of Bancroft and Warner.
England also enjoyed their share of the luck at Adelaide with Stoneman edging one through gully flying to the boundary, off Starc who was bowling much faster, hitting 90 MPH every ball, with much better accuracy. Possibly due to a much smoother run up. Every ball was making the openers play, missing the edge 3 times in his first two overs. STARCY STARCY STARCY was soon ringing around the ground.
Hazlewood also tested the England batsman early on, with an early shout pitching outside leg and probably just nicking the wickets, and another doing the same. Both to Mark Stoneman. A seriously impressive start by the quicks, using the day/night conditions very much to their favour. In stark contrast to their counterparts who bowled far too short, Starc and Hazlewood pitched the ball up a lot more, threatening the batsmen much more. This didn’t affect the Barmy army
Stoneman pushed on a lot early on scoring 18 in his first 20 with three fours. With everything considered though, It still looked like the pair were just one poor shot away from getting out. As Starc did the ball after writing this, despite a review from Stoneman. Nothing about this test has been easy viewing from and English perspective. Fantastic ball from Starc, going on to hit leg stump, just too quick from Starc. That was much more of a Shane Watson review there. Stoneman dismissed for 18 off 21.
James Vince came in with England on 29-1 6.5 overs, after desperately needing a partnership. Starc tested Vince by moving it across him, as well as a trademark Starc yorker early on.
Cummins came on early with a huge appeal just before rain stopped play as the heavens opened, proceeding the best rendition of Oasis’s wonderwall I have ever heard from a crowd! England were on 29-1 as they went off.
The England batsmen will have been more than happy to watch the rain come down, ending a difficult few overs for the tourists. The four superb umpiring decisions at the end have to be mentioned. I have been informed as well that it’s Dave the saxman substituting Billy the trumpeter for this test as Billy needs to spend some time with his baby son.
And that’s all folks! Stumps were called on day 2. Another day ending with Australia in a hell of a position. England already 1 down, and 412 behind. However, the evening/night session is a huge opportunity to take wickets and it was restricted. England bowled a lot better than that scoreline reflected and Australia certainly rode their luck, but that’s just cricket. England will be thinking here, all we have to do is not lose this test. They only have to draw the series to retain the ashes and that is, or at least should be their first thought. Closely followed by the prospect of attacking the Aussie attack tomorrow. They have to do one of the two, and not just assume a loss. Either grit or attack, but just no more throwing wickets away. My parting thought of the day is that the rain might have made Steve Smith regret taking the few overs after the dinner break. If they had bowled a few more overs and taken a couple more wickets it would be game over!