2nd Test Ashes Review (At Adelaide Oval)
In a surprise for many England won the toss and decided that they would have a bowl first; Adelaide Oval is renowned as being a pitch that is batsmen friendly. England made one change to their line up with Overtan replacing Ball, while Australia were unchanged. Australia would look to keep the momentum up with the opportunity to bat first a good one.
Australia only lost four wickets on an eventful first day of the Second Test. Incredibly all of the first five Australian batsmen had a strike rate of under fifty runs per one hundred bowls. Also, England claimed the wickets of danger men Warner and Smith. Khawaja was the only Australian batsmen to reach the half century mark. Marsh and Handscomb were at the crease, unbeaten at the end of day one with the score at four for two hundred and nine.
England responded on the second day of the test match with the early wicket of Handscomb. He was out lbw to Broad. This gave each of the four frontline English bowlers with one wicket each, with the first wicket of Bancroft a run out. Paine and Marsh began a partnership with the game very much in the balance. They played more attacking than the previous five batsmen had. Both batsmen had strike rates over fifty runs per hundred balls to give Australia back the ascendency and the momentum. The loss of Pain was followed by the wicket of Starc shortly after; Australia was on target for a reasonable score with the scoreboard reading seven for three hundred and eleven. What followed was a crucial partnership between Marsh and Cummings. The partnership for the eighth wicket was worth ninety-nine runs. Australia declared shortly after that wicket fell with the score at four hundred and fourty-two. Australia managed to take the wicket of Stoneman before stumps with the tourists at one for twenty-nine.
The third day of the Second Test belonged to the bowlers. Australia bowled well with England losing several wickets in quick succession. All four of the front line Australian bowlers made a contribution with all of them taking at least one wicket. Lyon continued his good form with four scalps. Thankfully for England the tail wagged. Incredibly Overton top scored with fourty-one runs not out in his test debut. The tourists added eighty-five runs for their last three wickets. Australia were two hundred and fifteen runs ahead after the first innings. Bancroft failed for a second time this Test Match. Australia were just fifty runs when they lost their fourth wicket, their Captain Smith. Australia were four for fifty-three at stumps.
The fourth day of the Second Ashes Test was an even contest between the two sides. Australia lost six wickets for eighty-five runs, while England scored one hundred and seventy-six runs for the loss of four wickets. That meant that there were ten wickets that fell for two hundred and sixty-one runs. The bowlers took the honours in an enthralling fourth day of cricket. Anderson and Woakes were the bowlers who did the damage. With the bat, Joe Root steadied the ship after England were three for ninety-one. Root and nightwatchmen Woakes were the two not out batsmen at the conclusion of day four. England required one hundred and seventy-eight runs with six wickets in hand.
On the fifth day, once again the honours went to the bowlers. Australia took six wickets for one hundred and fifty-five runs. The English batsmen showed great endeavour, especially Bairstow who managed thirty-six runs. Starc was the pick of the bowlers in the English Second Innings taking five of the ten wickets that fell. England only lost the match by one hundred by one hundred and twenty runs. It could have been a far bigger margin if Smith had enforced the follow on, but Australia prevailed in the end. Time will tell if the spirit shown by England in the Second Test is a trend or an aberration.
Also published on Medium.