England
World Test Championship

England pull things back after conceding big lead on day two

AUS v ENG, 5th Test, day two, report

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England were bowled out for 188, conceding a lead of 115, but picked up three Australian wickets by stumps on day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test in Hobart.

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Stuart Broad went past Ian Botham to hold the England record for most wickets in Ashes history when he sent back David Warner for his second duck in the Test. Chris Woakes and Mark Wood too got into the act, the former dismissing Marnus Labuschagne and the latter getting the better of Usman Khawaja with a snorter to leave Australia reeling at 37/3 at stumps.

As many as 17 wickets fell in the day at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart as Australia and England wrestled for control.

Having been bowled out for 303, Australia struck early when a mix-up between the openers was capitalised by an alert Labuschagne. The fielder effected a direct hit to dismiss Rory Burns for a duck. They were pegged back further when Pat Cummins dismissed Zak Crawley, but Dawid Malan and Joe Root combined to rebuild for the visitors.

While the pair were watchful until the dinner break, runs started flowing after it with Root, especially, looking to transfer some pressure back onto the Aussies. Malan had a let-off when Cameron Green had him caught behind, but Australia did not review the on-field call of not out. Replays later revealed Malan had indeed nicked the ball.

They didn't have to rue that much with Mitchell Starc getting rid of Malan a few overs later, courtesy of a strangle down the leg side. It opened the floodgates, leading to two more wickets in the space of four overs. Joe Root was trapped in front by a peach from Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes was dismissed next over, driving Starc to backward point where Nathan Lyon held onto a terrific low catch.

At 85/5, England were in danger of being bowled out before the follow-on threat was passed, but Ollie Pope and Sam Billings, the latter on debut, helped them past that only for the former to fall soon after. Pope was nicked by Scott Boland for a disappointing 14. 

Things would have been worse for the visitors had Australia held onto a couple of catches offered by Chris Woakes soon after. Warner and Khawaja shelled the catches to give Woakes reprieves. He made that count to an extent, putting on a 42-run stand with Billings and then adding another 30 runs with Mark Wood.

Including Woakes, England lost their last three wickets in the space of six runs, conceding a heavy lead. Broad and Woakes then struck early with the ball to send back Warner and Labuschagne and give England a bit of hope.

Earlier in the day, Australia resumed on 241/6, but could only add 42 runs for the last four wickets, most of that thanks to a 27-ball 31 from Nathan Lyon, a knock studded with three sixes, and a four. Broad ended Lyon's cameo to restrict Australia to 303 before the Aussie bowlers wreaked havoc.

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