Wickets tumbled all day on the second day of the historic Hobart Ashes Test, as Australia finished at stumps in the driver’s seat with a 152 run lead.
On a day where 17 wickets fell, England quickly took the last four wickets in Australia’s first innings, with some late hitting from Nathan Lyon saw the home side get up to 303 for their first innings with Mark Wood and Stuart Broad leading the way as they have all series with the ball in hand.
England’s first innings started our calamitously with a run out in the second over as Australia, despite missing some chances on the way by way of reviews or dropped catches, bowled England out cheaply yet again.
Here are the moments that mattered from Day 2 in Hobart:
Early rewards for Wood after another neat start for England
Going into day 2 down a seam bowler, with Ollie Robinson experiencing back spasms on the first day and deemed unavailable to bowl early in the second day, it was going to be an important opening spell from both Stuart Broad and Mark Wood. England’s best bowlers on the first day as they looked to replicate yesterday’s stunning first 45 minutes.
Stuart Broad was tidy before he started to pick a fight with the roving camera. Pulling up halfway through his run-up and bellowing out “Stop moving the robot”, providing another moment of humor in a tidy opening stanza from the England bowlers.
England only conceded nine runs in the opening five overs and it was Mark Wood who did the damage in the early goings of Day 2, reverting to the short-pitched method to remove Mitchell Starc.
After an expensive first day yesterday, Wood managed to claw his way back nicely by following up the wicket of Starc by removing the Australian captain Pat Cummins in a very similar fashion.
Setting the field with three back on the fence with the intention of bowling short, Cummins top-edged a short ball which sailed into the hands of Zak Crawley at deep backward square leg. His fourth catch of the innings.
Lusty Lyon blows gets Australia up past 300 as wickets tumble
At 8/252 when Nathan Lyon came to the crease, and with Australia’s total looking like it might end up just under par, Nathan Lyon took matters into his own hands and started bashing the ball all around Bellerive Oval.
The Hobart crowd was treated to a Lyon cameo of significance when the off-spinner, set deep in his crease, rocked back on a hook shot and sent the ball onto Church Street off the bowling of Mark Wood.
He didn’t stop there. He deposited Wood onto the hill and Church street three times in his cameo of 31, as he added vital lower-order runs, including a tenth wicket partnership of 23 with Scott Boland to get Australia up to 303 for their first innings.
A psychological blow for the tourists who are yet to reach 300 as a team in all eight innings they have batted this tour.
Missed chance doesn’t cost Australia as Burns goes early again
It looked as if Australia had missed a golden chance to get England right on the back foot in the first over.
On return to the test side, Rory Burns faced up to Mitchell Starc, someone he has fallen two twice already this series on the way to getting omitted ahead of Boxing Day.
Having survived a shout for LBW on the second ball of the innings, which looked to be drifting down the leg side, he looked to have had another moment of good fortune on the last ball of the first over when Starc whistled one past Burns’ outside edge and sailed through to Alex Carey’s gloves.
While the Australians scurried through for the start of the next over, replays showed that Burns indeed might have edged the ball through to Carey which wasn’t picked up by any of the Australian fielders. Snicko later showed a clear spike when the ball passed the bat. Giving Burns some extra luck and good fortune.
However, the miss didn’t cost Australia much as they got the wicket of Burns after a lazy running between the wickets error, and a throw from Marnus Labuschagne caught Burns just short of his ground.
Zak Crawley set off for a quick single with Burns slow to get off the mark at the non-striker’s end. The lack of lunge or desperation to make his ground caught Burns just short, which drew the ire of Australian legend Ricky Ponting on commentary.
Zak Crawley departed just before the Dinner break to leave England once again in trouble ar 2/34 at the main break on Day 2.
Root, Malan tick along after probing post Dinner examination
As they have many times in this series, Dawid Malan and Joe Root were tasked with digging England out of a hole and leading the fightback for the tourists.
Amid some testing spells from both Scott Boland and Cameron Green, who have continued to be relentless change seam bowlers for Australia this series, both Malan and Root settled in and started becoming set at the crease as the runs began to flow.
43 runs came from the opening nine overs after the Dinner break as the partnership started to threaten as the lights came on in Hobart.
More Ashes News
Captain Cummins wrestles momentum back yet again
Just as it has many times before in the Ashes series, as England has finally looked o be on top in the game and a chance to press on and gain some valuable momentum, Australia, every time landed timely blows to put themselves well and truly back in front.
As the lights came on, the skipper brought himself on to bowl, looking to break the stand and resistance. Pat Cummins, the number one ranked test bowler in the world took the ball as skipper and took it upon himself to break open the English middle order.
As the Root/Malan partnership made its way up to 49, Cummins set up Malan with two deliveries that nipped away from the left-hander before strangling him down the leg side, catching the edge through to Alex Carey behind the stumps for 25.
He followed it up in his very next over when he trapped Joe Root in front which was adjudged out LBW on field. Root didn’t opt to review with ball-tracking showing it was pitching and hitting inline with ‘umpires call’ on hitting the bails. Gone for 34.
The wicket brought Ollie Pope to the crease to partner the hobbled Ben Stokes to try and wrestle some touch back in the way of the tourists. Stokes though would only last 11 balls, smashing a ball to backward point which was well caught by Nathan Lyon off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.
It was a 26 ball stretch where Australia took three wickets for eight runs which once again, swung the momentum back Australia’s way, just when England looked like they were getting on top.
Scott Boland joined the party in the first over of his third spell, challenging before finding the outside edge of Ollie Pope in the 31st over.
Positions called into question again as more missed chances go down before tea
It’s the oldest catchcry since the juniors – “catches win matches”.
Australia went to tea in a dominant position having taken four wickets in the session and on the charge for more. With the pink ball nipping around in twilight, the Australians consistently created chances, beating the bat on several occasions and drawing edges from all the England batters.
Across all the broadcasting platforms, many former players were lamenting and commenting on the positioning on the Australian slip cordon, mainly mentioning how close in proximity they were standing together which would ultimately lead to confusion if a chance comes.
It reared its head in the middle of Boland’s spell. After dismissing Ollie Pope, Boland found the edge of Chris Woakes’ first ball he faced. The ball was sailing into David Warner’s hands but was spilled.
The second chance came in the last over before the Tea break. Boland was again bowling to Woakes who edged healthily through to the slips cordon and looked to be heading right to the waiting hands of Steve Smith at second slip. It looked for all money Boland’s second wickets until Usman Khawaja jumped in front of Smith, thinking it was his catch, and spilled yet another chance with Woakes on five.
Green breaks next resistance as Billings first introduction to Test cricket wins plaudits
Sam Billings’ introduction to Test cricket was a long time coming. The 30-year-old was, as we found out merely hours away from boarding a flight back to London to prepare for a Caribbean tour before the phone rang with the message of getting to the team hotel in Sydney.
He became the 700th Test cricketer for England and put in a tidy performance behind the stumps in his first innings behind the sticks in the whites.
He got his chance with the bat early in Day 2 as England’s top order crumbled and drew praise from many former players about his energetic approach and temperament with the bat in hand.
Billings got himself to 29 and steadily got into handy partnerships with both Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes before he was hurried by a short delivery from Cameron Green, and hooked down to fine leg which was subsequently swallowed by Scott Boland, bringing a nice debut innings to a close.
He would go on later in the evening to pouch his first catch in Test cricket.
Australia nail one on review as Australia wrap it up with a big lead
Sniffing an end to the innings or trying to force a breakthrough, Cummins went back to Mitchell Starc to try blast through the tail.
He got a ball to sail past the outside edge of Chris Woakes which went through to Alex Carey and met with a half appeal from the Australian fielders which was struck down by umpire Paul Wilson.
With much confusion as to whether or not there were two noises, Keeper Carey wasn’t quite sure himself, and after the previous missed DRS chances from edges behind earlier in the day, Cummins decided this time to go upstairs to the third umpire with hotspot and snicko showing a faint edge off Woakes’ bat.
Australia wrapped up the remaining two English wickets quickly to bowl the tourists out for 188, trailing by 115 runs.
Warner pairs up, falls to Broad for the 14th time as England make early inroads again
With an hour and 20 minutes to bat under lights tonight to begin their second innings, David Warner and Usman Khawaja walked to the crease wanting to make amends from their first innings failures. Warner in particular, who scored a duck in the first innings, wanted to put some marks next to his name in the scorebook.
He cut with hard hands off the fourth ball of the opening over to a wide Stuart Broad delivery and was caught by a flying Ollie Pope for a duck.
The second time in his Test career he had been dismissed for a pair and the 14th time he had fallen to Stuart Broad in Test cricket.
England was up and about not long after when they celebrated the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. The World’s number one ranked Test batter was strangled down the leg side for 5, handing Sam Billing his first dismissal in Test cricket and leaving Australia in a spot of bother.
Wood short snorter gets Khawaja right before the close
As the day edged towards a close with Khawaja and Smith looking to see out the rest of the day and make it to Stumps, Joe Root called upon his Mark Wood to try and rattle the cages of the Australians late in the day and make more overnight inroads to the Australian top order.
With stumps 20 minutes away, Wood sent down a 147.7 km/h short ball which sent Khawaja scrambling to avoid and get out of the way. He managed to get his head out of the way but couldn’t get his bat out of the way in time, feathering an edge through to Billings, giving England their third wicket for the night.
The wicket brought Scott Boland to the crease as the nightwatchman to see out the final stanza of the day with Steve Smith.
He was peppered with short balls, copping blows to the hands and the finger but was resolute in defence, surviving the tough period facing 25 deliveries before the close of play, shielding Travis Head and Cameron Green who will come in for another big innings tomorrow.
Subscribe to our newsletter!