Australia has beaten England by a margin of 43 runs in the second Test of the Ashes series at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Despite an incredible knock of 155 runs by Ben Stokes, the English side fell short as the Australian bowlers staged a remarkable comeback on Sunday.
Australia’s win in this Test match puts them in a commanding position with a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, leaving England with a challenging task to bounce back.
At the start of the second session, England required 128 runs for victory, with the team’s score standing at 250/6 after 58 overs. Ben Stokes, who was unbeaten on 114, partnered with Stuart Broad, who was on 2, to resume the innings.
Stokes exhibited exceptional batting prowess, playing a captain’s knock of 155 runs off 213 balls. His explosive batting style posed a significant challenge for the Australian bowlers, as he relentlessly attacked their deliveries.
However, the Australian team fought back with determination, led by Josh Hazelwood, who eventually dismissed Ben Stokes. This breakthrough proved pivotal as England’s wickets began to tumble one after another.
By the 68th over, Ben Stokes had reached an outstanding score of 151 runs off 197 balls, comprising nine boundaries and an equal number of maximums. Notably, during this period, Stokes and Stuart Broad formed a crucial 100-run partnership.
England crossed the 300-run mark in the 71.4th over, with Ben Stokes still at the crease with an unbeaten 155, while Stuart Broad held on with 11 runs to his name.
However, the 72.1st over proved to be decisive, as Josh Hazelwood once again struck, dismissing Ben Stokes who was looking to single-handedly snatch victory from Australia’s grasp. A miscued shot led to Stokes’s dismissal, with Alex Carey comfortably taking the catch. Stokes departed after an outstanding innings of 155 runs off 213 deliveries, featuring nine boundaries and an equal number of maximums.
England faced further setbacks as Pat Cummins claimed the wicket of Ollie Robinson in the 73.1st over, thanks to an exceptional catch by Steve Smith. Robinson could only manage one run off six balls before departing.
In the 74.1st over, Josh Hazelwood continued his impressive spell, sending Stuart Broad back to the pavilion with Cameroon Green taking the catch. Broad contributed 11 runs off 36 balls, including two boundaries.
Ultimately, England was bowled out for 327 in the 81.3rd over, with Mitchell Starc claiming the final wicket of Josh Tongue, who scored 19 runs off 26 balls.
Australia’s bowling trio of Cummins (3/69), Starc (3/79), and Hazlewood (3/80) proved to be the most destructive force against England’s batting lineup.
Following the lunch break, England managed to reach a score of 243/6, with skipper Ben Stokes leading the charge with an unbeaten 108 off 147 balls. Stuart Broad provided support, staying unbeaten with 1 run off 10 deliveries.
The session witnessed dramatic moments as England’s batters struggled against Australia’s bouncer strategy. However, it concluded with Stokes receiving thunderous applause from the crowd while ascending the stairs, contrasting with the crowd’s boos for the Australian players as they returned to the dressing room.
The session began positively for England, with Ben Duckett and Ben Stokes steadily accumulating runs and occasionally finding the boundaries. Nevertheless, Australia’s pace duo of Starc and Hazlewood gradually turned the tide in their favor by delivering precise bouncers that put pressure on the English batsmen.
Duckett succumbed to the pressure, attempting a pull shot off Hazlewood but mistiming it, resulting in a top-edge caught comfortably by Alex Carey behind the stumps. Duckett departed after scoring 83 runs off 112 balls.
Jonny Bairstow replaced Duckett and looked to maintain England’s hopes of securing victory. Bairstow displayed caution against the short balls, leaving them when necessary, while focusing on rotating the strike.
However, Australia staged a cunning comeback, taking advantage of a momentary lapse in concentration. In the 52nd over, Bairstow ducked to evade a bouncer from Cameron Green, assuming the ball was dead. Carey seized the opportunity and dislodged the bails with a direct hit, catching Bairstow off guard. Bairstow’s dismissal for 10 runs off 22 balls left a lasting memory for him in the series.
As tensions escalated, Stokes witnessed everything and decided to transform the Test match into a T20I game, launching an assault on the Australian bowlers. With every ball, Stokes switched gears, earning applause from the crowd while smashing boundaries for fun. Notably, he targeted Cameron Green, accumulating 24 runs in a single over.
Meanwhile, Stuart Broad displayed resilience at the other end, barely taking a run. Australia attempted to put pressure on Broad with their bouncer strategy, but the veteran pacer skillfully survived each delivery. He even took a jibe at Carey, questioning if the ball was dead.
In the 56th over, Stokes raised his bat, registering a magnificent century by sending the ball soaring into the stands. England concluded the session at 243/6 in 57 overs, still needing 128 runs for victory.
England had begun the day at 112/4, with Stokes unbeaten on 29 and Duckett on 50.
Australia had secured a substantial 370-run lead over England by scoring 279 runs in their second innings. Usman Khawaja (77), Steve Smith (34), and Marnus Labuschagne played vital innings for the Australian team.
England’s bowling performance was commendable, with Stuart Broad leading the way with figures of 4/65. Tongue and Robinson contributed with two wickets each, while Stokes and Anderson claimed one wicket apiece.
In their first innings, England had been dismissed for 325 runs, trailing Australia by 91 runs. Ben Duckett’s 98 and Harry Brook’s 50 were crucial half-centuries for the English side.
Mitchell Starc stood out for Australia, taking three wickets for 88 runs, while Josh Hazlewood and Travis Head chipped in with two wickets each.
Australia had amassed 416 runs in their first innings, with Steve Smith leading the scoring charts with a magnificent century of 110 runs off 184 balls. Travis Head (77) and David Warner also made attacking fifties.
Josh Tongue (3/98) and Ollie Robinson (3/100) were the key wicket-takers for England.
As the Ashes series progresses, Australia’s victory in the second Test puts them in a dominant position, while England faces an uphill battle to stage a comeback and regain their footing in the series.