• Matt Skilton

The Ashes Fourth Test Highlights

Day 1 & Day 2 Highlights


Australia already retained the Ashes with dominant wins in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne meaning England will have to wait till 2023 for their shot to obtain one of cricket’s most famous prizes. England captain Joe Root has insisted he’s deeply hurt by the way his team has performed so far. Now with the new year being welcomed in, the England Cricket Team walk onto the SCG with their pride on the line, as they look to avoid another Ashes whitewash.


Day 1:

· Australia won the toss and elected to bat

· Broad replaced the injured Ollie Robinson

· Rain caused multiple delays throughout the day and ended play 30 minutes early

· Australia looked dominant with the bat until late in the day

· England struck twice late on with Marcus Harris and Marnus Labuschagne getting out


The first day of the fourth Ashes test was hampered by rain as the Australians reached stumps at 3/126. Opening pair, David Warner and Marcus Harris built a solid 51-run partnership before Stuart Broad dismissed Warner for the 13th time in test cricket. Harris and Marnus Labuschagne put their heads down, grinding out a tough 60-run stand before England’s most prolific bowler, James Anderson brought his skipper Joe Root into the game after finding Harris’ edge, which sent him back to the pavilion. Mark Wood struck shortly after, dismissing Labuschagne shortly to bring England back into the game late in the day.


Day 2:

· Australia holds off England’s bowling attack to pile on runs and more pain for the tourists

· Couple of short rain breaks early in the day stopped England from getting into a rhythm

· Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers on day 2

· Usman Khawaja’s added another century to his impressive record at the SCG

· England once again struggled to dismiss the Australian tail


England set out into the field again, looking to capitalize on the momentum Anderson and Wood gave them overnight. However, the tourists struggled, with deliveries that were too full and straight resulting in Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja cashing in with runs pouring when the rain wasn’t.


England changed their plans, relying on a bumper tactic to stop the run flow and rattle the Aussie batters. In between the pacers, spinner Jack Leach found the edge of Usman Khawaja, but the sitter was put down by Joe Root.


To pile on more pain for the England captain, Ben Stokes tweaked his side, picking up what is a possible side-strain injury in the 72nd over, Mark Wood had to complete the over as Stokes exited the field. Smith and Khawaja then cruised to 3/209 as the Australian Vice-Captain reached 50 on the stroke of lunch.


England got the second new ball shortly after lunch as they looked to get themselves back into the test match. They hit the right notes early on with the new ball with Broad taking Smith’s wicket, the 9th time he’s dismissed him.


Cameron Green stepped up to the crease and was met with a barrage of full long deliveries at his stumps and pads as the young all-rounder looked edgy. Eventually, the Western Australian was dismissed cheaply by Broad who enjoyed a new-ball spell of 2/11.

Khawaja steadied the ship with Alex Carey as the Aussie keeper survived a working over from Mark Wood. The pair put on a 43-run partnership to put Australia back into the driver’s seat until Joe Root forced Carey into a false shot, which sent him back to the dressing rooms.


The skipper headed to the middle and played some attacking shots to help the hosts reach 6/321 at the tea break, but it was Khawaja’s session as he scored his 9th test hundred by whipping Dawid Malan through square leg on the stroke of tea.


It took 23 deliveries for Cummins to get off the mark, but went through gears quickly once he did, scoring at a run a ball. The skipper was given out LBW but survived after a review showed the ball heading down leg. Cummins would fall soon after when a short ball from Broad flicked his glove on the way through the Buttler and was only given out after a review from Joe Root.


The pain for England kept piling up, Mitchell Starc was given out caught behind in the 127th over, but the left-armed pacer reviewed the decision, which was overturned, as the Australian tail continued to wag and pile on more runs. Stuart Broad picked up the breakthrough wicket of Usman Khawaja when the ball crashed into the stumps off an inside edge, giving Broad his 19th test 5-wicket haul. It ended a valiant inning of 137 from the Queensland captain as Australia closed in on a 400-run lead. Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc launched into a flurry of runs, pushing Australia’s score to 8/416 before Pat Cummins decided it was time to have a bowl.


England was forced to bat in difficult conditions for the final 20 minutes. Starc found the edge of Zak Crawley’s bat in his second over, but the tourists had some rare fortune, with the delivery being a no-ball. The England openers fought hard to stay alive, surviving the five overs thrown at them, and will resume at 0/13 on day three.

STUMPS DAY 2 STATE OF PLAY


Australia – 8/416d (134)

Khawaja 137 (260) Broad 5/101 (29)

Smith 67 (141) Root 1/36 (8)


England – 0/13 (5)

Hameed 2* (16) Cummins 0/1 (3)

Crawley 2* (15) Starc 0/4 (2)


TEAM LINEUPS:

Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon


England XI: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.


Matt Skilton is a multimedia sports journalism graduate and covers all of your sports needs at ThePyrrhic.com. Keep watching for recaps, analysis, trade news, and more!


Follow Matt on Twitter @MSkilton16


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