24/05/2024

Jhye Richardson came into his own on day five, bowling Australia to victory. (Photo: Cricket Australia).

In a see-sawing final day to the Adelaide test, it took an unlucky step on the stumps and a Jhye Richardson spell to give Australia victory.

It was a staunch England defence on the final day, but some interesting calls and a crazy last hour ended an exciting second Ashes Test match.

We’ve been here before at an Adelaide Oval Test where the visitors tried everything to hold on for a gritty draw, but Australian persistence finally won the day in the last session.

Here are the moments that mattered from day five.

Australia finally do the impossible with DRS

It’s been well documented how poorly the Australian team have used the Decision Review System (DRS) in the past.

Starting in the Tim Paine days, where they famously missed out on some massive wickets due to using their reviews earlier on rogue calls (Headingley 2019 as an example), the Aussies have struggled to use the technology effectively.

But it all changed early on day five when Nathan Lyon and his teammates went up for an LBW appeal against the dangerous Ben Stokes.

The umpires turned it down, believing the ball to be sliding down the leg side, but the Aussies, still haunted by Stokes’ Leeds miracle, chose to review at the final second.

It looked like a haphazard call to review, but stand-in skipper Steve Smith was quick to realise he had struck gold when ball tracker found the delivery to be hitting the leg stump.

It meant Lyon had an early and important wicket on a big day five, and that the fearsome Stokes was sent back to the crease with only 12 off 77 balls to his name.

A long stand between two under-fire Englishmen

It wouldn’t be too harsh to say that both Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler have had poor starts to not just the Adelaide Test, but also the entire Ashes series.

With Buttler putting down some simple chances behind the stumps, and Woakes struggling to have any penetration with ball in hand, the pair came together early on day five after Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes fell in the opening hour.

Putting behind their wicket keeping and bowling woes respectively, the pair forged an unlikely partnership, holding out Australia’s desperate bowlers into the middle session.

The stand ended up being 61 runs, but it was worth more than that, mainly due to the fact that Woakes and Buttler survived for nearly 30 overs together when the contest was at its hottest.

Eventually it would be Woakes who would perish first, relinquishing his stranglehold over the Aussies when he missed a Jhye Richardson delivery that seamed through the gate and took out the middle stump. But his impact wasn’t completely lost, as he made 44 while Buttler took rear-guard action from the other end.

A lack of Green dries up Australia’s wickets

Heading into the final few hours of the test match, Australia looked to be struggling to take the last three wickets it desperately wanted for a 2-0 series advantage.

With Australia’s main three pace bowlers tiring out after constant spells in the warm Adelaide sun, and Nathan Lyon continuing to toil from one end, many began to wonder why all-rounder Cameron Green wasn’t thrown the ball.

Having dismissed both Joe Root and Ben Stokes in the first innings while bowling some brutal spells at a high pace, Green seemed to be the perfect option to change up Australia’s attack and break the England partnerships.

But he didn’t get handed the ball until the final forays of the extended middle session, with many beginning to wonder if the young all-rounder had injury concerns of his own that were preventing him from bowling.

The West Australian has had well documented back issues growing up, yet his recent pace looked to have shown his rehab.

When he did hit the crease, Green looked as dangerous as ever, beating the bat often at a decent speed in a four over spell that barely yielded a run.

It’ll be interesting to see in the aftermath if Green is indeed under an injury cloud, or whether he was just used sparingly by Smith on the final day.

More Ashes News

Ashes: Second Test Day 4: The moments that mattered

Ashes: Green by name, Cameron sprouting high for Australian cricket

Ashes: Second Test Day 3: The moments that mattered

Buttler’s luck wears out

It had been a tough test for Buttler, with plenty of highlights intermingled with some dark lowlights with the gloves.

Having taken a few screaming catches in between some horrible drops and a short stay at the crease in the first innings, Buttler used his luck when he offered a chance on his first ball off Mitchell Starc.

The edge flew in between Alex Carey and David Warner at first slip, with Warner jumping out of the way while Carey only watched it fly through for a boundary.

From there, Buttler put his head down and batted with maturity, putting aside his attacking instincts to play an anchor knock of 26 off 207 balls.

But it all came to an end in the final session while he tried to hog the strike and save his bowlers from facing a fired up Richardson and Starc.

On the last ball of a Richardson over, Buttler used the crease too much, pushing back so far that he trod on his off stump, causing the bail to dislodge and send Australia into hysterical celebrations.

In a frustrating match, it was perhaps the worst moment for Buttler, who performed so admirably in defending Australia for nearly five hours.

It gave Richardson a fourth wicket and left England nine down, basically ruining any chances of a draw.

Richo has the final say

Not many were surprised when Jhye Richardson was selected to replace the injured Josh Hazlewood in Adelaide.

But when Michael Neser made his debut for a late COVID scare with Pat Cummins, the pair immediately entered into a bowl-off for the one spot when the Aussie skipper returns for the Melbourne Boxing Day test.

With Richardson going wicket-less in his first innings return to Test cricket, he needed a performance to remember to stake his claim for the biggest Test in the sporting calendar.

He did so superbly, starting with the wickets of Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns last night.

But he really came into his own on day five, when his persistence paid off as he ripped through Chris Woakes’ watertight defence with a superb off-cutting delivery that took out middle stump.

After breaking the partnership, his slingy action and dangerous swing continued to make him look like the toughest bowler for England to face.

With Jos Buttler going far back to defend his deliveries, it all proved too much when the English keeper trod on his own stumps and gave Richardson a fourth wicket for his efforts.

He then had the final say a few overs later, bowling a rearing short ball that James Anderson could only prod to Green at gully to end the match.

On a day where the game was in the balance, Richardson proved his worth as a pace asset, taking 5/42 off 19.1 overs to will Australia to a 2-0 series lead that could prove to be unassailable.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

About Author

Leave a Reply