1st Test – Australia vs England hangs in balance after the end of the second day
ENG: 430 (102.1)
AUS: 264-5 (70)
The second day of the first Ashes test was another thrilling affair as the game now lies in balance. This game is the perfect advertisement for test cricket as regardless of the nature of the pitch, the players are giving their absolute best. England resumed their innings and added 87 runs to their overnight score of 343-7. For England, it was their no. 8, Moeen Ali who did the bulk of the scoring. Ali was least bothered about the threat which the Australian pace battery possessed. He played a free flowing knock of 77, before he was finally caught in the slips while attempting another extravagant drive. England soon were bowled out for 430, as Mitchell Starc got a well deserved five for.
The Australian openers looked in some initial discomfort as James Anderson got the ball to move away from the two southpaws. Anderson put on display a fine spell of swing bowling. Australia ended the first session without any casualty as Warner and Rogers negated the initial threat. Soon, in the afternoon session, after striking a flurry of boundaries, David Warner was dismissed on the bowling of James Anderson. It was one drive too many as Cook to the catch in the slips.
Rogers went about his task in fine style as he drove the ball with sheer grace and timing. Steve Smith too looked like settling in and those were ominous signs for the hosts. In came the protagonist of the day for England. Moeen Ali, with his calm demeanor deceived Steve Smith as he cramped the Australian run machine up for room. Ali saw Smith stepping down the track and hence fired the ball on the line of the leg stump. Smith, to save himself from getting stumped put his bat in the way. The ball took the leading edge, and once again the English skipper took a good catch at silly mid on. That was a decisive blow for Australia.
In walked Michael Clarke and he steadied the ship efficiently. Clarke was playing some brisk cricket and was on 38 when Moeen Ali once again left an impression. Ali bowled the delivery a bit slower at 50 mph and Clarke advanced down the track, only to offer Ali an easy return catch. That was indeed the big fish.
Shane Watson soon walked in, and with Moeen Ali bowling, the English fielders hovered around like vultures close to Voges and Watson. Watson looked to be positive as he struck Ali for back to back boundaries. Just as the two batsmen looked set to remain unbeaten, Voges was dismissed by Stokes on an ordinary delivery. That ensured that England got back in the game and now an exciting third day awaits the viewers.
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