Cricket

Second Ashes Test: Substitute Labuschagne stands firm as Test ends in draw

Replacement batsman Marnus Labuschagne plays a shot on day 5 of the second Ashes Test against England at Lord's in London on August 18, 2019.

Replacement batsman Marnus Labuschagne plays a shot on day 5 of the second Ashes Test against England at Lord's in London on August 18, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Stu Forster

Australia confirmed that Steve Smith will play no further part in the game due to concussion symptoms.

The second Ashes test was drawn as Australia, chasing 267 to beat England, ended on 154 for six after an absorbing final day at Lord's on Sunday.

Ben Stokes made a brilliant century and England declared on 258 for five before Jofra Archer claimed two early wickets to give the hosts the sniff of an unlikely victory.

But Marnus Labuschagne, replacing Steve Smith as test cricket's first substitute, made 59 and Travis Head an unbeaten 42 to lead the Australians to safety and keep them 1-0 up in the series.

Smith was ruled out of the final day suffering from concussion symptoms after being struck on the neck by an Archer bouncer on Saturday and Labuschagne was hit on the helmet by the second ball he faced from the Barbados-born fast bowler.

England’s Ben Stokes is congratulated by Jos Buttler on day 5 of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s in London on August 18, 2019.

England’s Ben Stokes is congratulated by Jos Buttler on day 5 of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s in London on August 18, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Stu Forster

 

The 25-year-old right-hander was able to continue batting, however, showing courage and composure under intense pressure to reach his second test fifty in his sixth match.

Stokes scored 115 not out, hitting three sixes and 11 fours, as the hosts added 162 runs to their overnight score to give themselves a chance of levelling the series.

After resuming on 96-4 following another rain delay, Stokes and Jos Buttler dug in to take England to 157-4 at lunch.

Buttler fell for 31 but Stokes went on the attack and brought up his seventh test century, adding a quickfire 97 with Jonny Bairstow who finished unbeaten on 30.

Archer removed David Warner and Usman Khawaja to continue his fine test debut as England reduced Australia to 46 for two at tea.

Warner was caught at third slip by Rory Burns for five and Khawaja nicked the ball to wicketkeeper Bairstow to leave Australia reeling at 19-2.

England's Jofra Archer celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja on day 5 of the second Test against Australia at Lord's in London on August 18, 2019.

England's Jofra Archer celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja on day 5 of the second Test against Australia at Lord's in London on August 18, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AFP

 

When spinner Jack Leach trapped Cameron Bancroft lbw for 16 England sensed the chance of pressing for victory but with Archer tiring they struggled to cause problems for the batsmen.

Jason Roy dropped Head at second slip off Stokes and the hosts' realistic hopes of winning the match were over.

Labuschagne was caught by Joe Root off Leach, the England captain diving forward to clutch the ball before a lengthy video review to confirm it had not touched the ground.

Matthew Wade tamely prodded the first ball of Leach's next over to Buttler at short leg but captain Tim Paine survived the hat-trick delivery.

Paine pulled Archer towards square leg and Joe Denly produced an astonishing catch, leaping to his left and clutching the ball one-handed, to leave England needing four wickets in seven overs.

Although Archer steamed in, he could not make another breakthrough and in fading light the players shook hands at the end of a match heavily disrupted by rain which washed out the first day and most of the third.

Australia will head to Leeds for the third test starting on Thursday on course to win the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001 but Smith's fitness will be a matter of serious concern.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 7:53:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/australia-tour-of-england-england-vs-australia-second-ashes-test-day-5/article29126626.ece

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