Ashes 2023, Day 2 Highlights, Smith Shines!

Steve Smith in the field during a Test match. by Computerishere88 Source CC BY-SA 4.0

Australia was in a good position when they ended day one on 339/5. Smith was batting on 85* from 149 balls, and now on Day 2, he needs to be watchful during the morning session to complete his century. Everyone was expecting Australia to reach 450+ score easily unless England is able to pick early wickets.

The day again started with overcast conditions and the same question was asked, ‘Can England take advantage of conditions on day 2?’ The first day, they weren’t able to do that. England bowler provided answers to the earlier questions by picking a wicket in the second over of day 2. Carey got out to Broad and the score was 351/6. Soon after, Anderson, who was wicketless on day 1 got his first wicket, making the scoreboard read as 358/7.

Smith tried to stabilize the innings with Cummins and completed his 32nd test century in the process. However, after 33 runs stand with Cummins, Smith got out, when the scoreboard was 393/8, and soon Australia’s first inning ended at 416.

England’s bowlers made an impressive comeback by restricting Australia to less than 420, and now England’s batters were responsible. Bright and sunny conditions were ideal for batting. And, England’s batters took full advantage of it and gave a good start of 91 runs when Crawley was stumped for 48 runs. After this start, Duckett and Pope ensured that no more wickets got lost as the partnership of 50+ runs and the score was 145/1. England continued to score in Bazball style at 7 RPO. And, it seems that not playing Boland was Australia’s biggest mistake.

Australia got a much-needed breakthrough, when Crawley got out on Green’s bowling for 42, and England’s score was 188/2. During this time Lyon was not on the field due to injury and Australia played with only 4 seamers.

Duckett who was playing very well got out on 98 and missed his 100 by 2 runs. England’s score was 206/3, and soon Starc took Root’s wicket and Australia bounced back into the game and England’s score was 220/4.

England bats around Root. But now it was a challenge for them to move innings forward without Root. But Brooks and Stokes took this challenge and steadied the England innings and by day 2 England reached 274/4.

We all know this was England’s day but Australia really bounced back during the final session. England was 188/1 at one stage before losing 3 wickets in 8 overs to turn the game. Now, the biggest concern for Australia is Lyon’s injury. It will be interesting to see how they handle it if he is unable to return to the field on Day 3.

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