Ashes 2023: Travis Head and Mitch Marsh see Australia through to the close on day 2- Australia lead by 142
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The sun is beating down on Headingley and England are batting with hopes of building a lead on day 2 of the LV= Insurance Men’s Ashes Test. Joe Root is on 19 and fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow is on one. following the loss of Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook yesterday evening.
England will be hoping to bat long and hard this morning on what is a good day to bat. They are still 195 runs behind Australia, who struck with some vicious quick bowling last night.
Pat Cummins opened the bowling from the Pavilion End. Joe Root edged behind from just the second ball of the day to leave England 68-4 and in trouble. Ben Stokes joined Bairstow and got off the mark with a single from his first ball.
Scott Boland started from the other end and with the final ball of his first over he very nearly found the edge of Stokes. It was a tough start for England.
Mitchell Starc replaced Boland and the change brought another wicket. Bairstow tried flashing a drive but only edged behind to the slips - Steve Smith made no mistake with the catch and England slumped to 87-5. Moeen Ali joined his captain in the middle.
Ben Stokes survived an LBW scare when Boland thought he had him. The Australians went upstairs and luckily for England it was umpires call- so Stokes carried on.
England stumbled to 100 and reached three figures thanks to a front foot no-ball from Boland. Todd Murphy got his first bowl of the series- his first over went for just 1 run. At drinks, England were 102-5.
Boland continued to find pace and bounce in the pitch, and he came close to finding Ali's edge on multiple occasions. Ali was able to ride the storm before with the final ball of the 34th over he hit a lovely drive through mid-off to relieve some pressure.
With things going slowly but smoothly, Moeen Ali scooped a horrendous shot into the air and was caught in the deep. England 131-6 just before lunch.
Woakes feathered behind just before lunch and after, Mark Wood went on the charge. He hit 16 runs from his first three deliveries in a blistering start.
He hit Cummins for another six before giving a simple catch to Scott Boland. England 167-8 and still over 100 behind Australia.
Stuart Broad joined Stokes out in the middle, and Stokes started to put his foot down with three consecutive fours off Starc to get England moving again. His luck was in and a looping chance off Todd Murphy was dropped in the deep- a very tough caught and bowled chance was put down the next ball.
The ninth wicket was that of Stuart Broad. His heave towards the leg side boundary was well watched and caught by Steve Smith. He went for 7 and England were 199-9.
Stokes looked to target Murphy as he hit back to back sixes straight back down the ground. The first of these brought up Stokes' 50.
The next Murphy over Stokes went again, hitting two more huge sixes to push England to within 38 of Australia's total.
The superb innings came to an end for 80 and England were bowled out for 237- 26 runs behind Australia's first innings effort. Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers finishing with figures of 6-91.
Australia second innings
Stuart Broad picked up the new ball and Usman Khawaja once again opened with David Warner. Chris Woakes was the other England bowler to take the new ball. He was hit away for consecutive boundaries by Khawaja.
The next over David Warner was gone for 1. He edged behind to Crawley and for the 17th time in his career- he fell to Stuart Broad. Marnus Labuschagne was the new man in.
Mark Wood got his first chance in the seventh over following on from his five-for in the first. After 11 overs Australia were 27-1, with Woakes and Mark Wood keeping their batters in check. Australia 29-1 at tea.
Joe Root bowled the first over after tea as England hunted more Australian wickets. It was spin from both ends as Moeen Ali also went into the attack.
Mark Wood could have made the breakthrough but the edge from Labuschagne wasn't held by Bairstow behind the stumps. Shortly before 5pm Australia moved on to 68-1, leading by 93.
With the next over, they had the all important breakthrough. Labuschagne tried going big off Ali but he was caught in the deep by Brook. 68-2 Australia, and Steve Smith made his way out to a small chorus of boos.
He wasn't out there long before Ali got him to chip to Duckett at mid-wicket. 72-3 and suddenly, hope for England. This was Ali's 200th test wicket- not a bad scalp to claim- Travis Head was next in.
Khawaja plugged away for 42 before he edged behind off the bowling of Woakes. England 90-4 and with a lead of 116- the match was very finely balanced.
Travis Head and Mitch Marsh saw Australia through to the close. They will return tomorrow on 116-4, leading England by 142.