Lord’s is hosting the second test match of Ashes 2023. Australia and England started playing the second of five test matches on June 28, 2023. It is scheduled to complete on July 02, 2023. England won the toss, and Ben Stokes decided to take advantage of the prevailing bowling conditions for early wickets.
The match was soon interrupted by Just Stop Oil protestors, which also rapidly resumed with no distraction to openers whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the left-handed batter brought up 66 runs off 88 balls, marking a return to his good old days’ form. Usman Khawaja played a rather slower inning at the rate of 24.29 before Josh Tongue departed them in a span of 7 overs.
The Aussies were reduced to 96/2 in the 30th over. Meaning the English army could not take full advantage of the bowling conditions. Thereby making way for batters to score big runs. Cricket sports betting sites continue to incline toward Australia.
Wickets, nonetheless, have been lost. It is now up to Steve Smith to keep the side moving. His entry was marked with an echo of boos by the audience. Undeterred, the former Aussie skipper established himself on the pitch for an unbeaten 85 runs in 149 balls. The strike rate of 57.05 is closer to his overall average in the career. A figure of 59.96 for 9k+ total throughout 174 innings makes him a valuable right-handed batter.
Talking a bit more about the entry of Smith, the English audience was previously seen teasing him in the first test when he was protecting the boundaries. This is in reference to his ball-tampering case in 2018 when he faced a ban by the management of the Australian Cricket team along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. Smith did appear for a media conference, but he ended it with full-out tears rolling down his cheeks.
The result was such that he had to step down as the captain and make a comeback as a normal batter for the country.
Smith is back in his form as well. The only thing holding him back is the number of wickets falling from the other hand. Marnus Labuschagne went back to the pavilion for 47 runs in 93 balls. Travis Head was going strong per his natural rhythm with an aggressive strike rate of 105.48. However, he was caught out by Jonny Bairstow in the 75th over. That was a throw by Joe Root, former England skipper, also responsible for delivering the wicket of Cameron Green in the same over. Root has probably saved at least 50+ runs for the side. His stats for the innings are impressive.
He bowled just eight overs during the day, out of which 1 over turned out to be a maiden. He gave away 19 runs at an economy of 2.38. It is right to assume that Stokes made the best use of his part-time right-arm off-spinner, who has picked up 55 wickets in his red-ball career. It gets interesting after learning that Joe Root has bowled incredible spells too. He is credited with picking 4 wickets and 5 wickets at least once in his test career.
James Anderson went without any wickets, managing to offer his support as an economical bowler with 1.93 in 15 overs, of which four were maiden. He was backed by the conditions. The fact can still not be changed that Anderson and Stuart Broad gave their everything on the first day of the second test match in Ashes 2023.
Action resumes at 3:30 pm IST on a pitch that could favor seamers more, subject to weather conditions.