England flatter to deceive, Australia stamp authority
No Pat Cummins, no Jos Hazlewood, yet England let the Australian attack dominate them in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
Luckily for England, they at least weren’t made to follow on on Day III of the day-night Test, though it appears that the match is steadily headed Australia’s way.
Spearheading Australia’s pace attack in the absence of Cummins and Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc maintained his reputation of being a more dangerous bowler with the pink ball, sweeping four wickets in England’s first innings. Left-arm pacer Starc found an able ally in off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who claimed three wickets, as Australia bowled out England for 236.
The hosts, who had declared their first innings on 473/9, were 45/1 at stumps on Saturday, for an overall lead of 282. Marcus Harris was batting on 21, having featured in a mix-up that resulted in opening partner David Warner’s run out for 13. Debutant Michael Neser was on 2 in his nightwatchman’s role.
Unless England can conjure up a stunning turnaround, Australia look well on course to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
“We didn’t bowl how we wanted to in that first session, let it slip on the scoreboard and searched for wickets,” Starc said after the day’s play.
“The way we came out in that second session, Nath (Lyon) and I took it on ourselves a bit being the two experienced ones in the attack.”
Good start, bad end
The day had begun brightly for England with Joe Root and Dawid Malan sharing an unbeaten 138 during the wicketless first session, but the wheels came off their innings soon after the dinner break.
Cameron Green broke the stand when he had Root, who made 62, caught by Australia stand-in skipper Steve Smith at first slip.
It was a ball Root could have left and the England captain was furious with himself as he walked off after falling short again of his first century in Australia.
It soon got worse for England as Malan, who scored 80, slashed a Starc (4/37) delivery that he should have left with Smith taking that catch too.
Lyon (3/58) dismissed Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson as England, cruising at 150/2, lost their last eight wickets for 86 runs.
“One of Rooty and myself should have gone on to make a big hundred,” a dejected Malan said.