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Ashes 2nd Test: Usman Khawaja, bowlers keep Australia on top against England on Day 3

CricketAshes 2nd Test: Usman Khawaja, bowlers keep Australia on top against England on Day 3

London: Australia wreaked havoc in the morning session with the ball before a steady showing with the bat helped them seize control of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Australia took charge of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s after a brilliant performance with the ball in the morning session. In what turned out to be a horror morning session for the hosts, they lost 6 wickets for only 47 runs in a 90-minute spell, being bowled out for 325. 

It was a brilliant bowling performance, especially after the big blow of Nathan Lyon likely missing out on the rest of the Ashes with a calf injury. Mitchell Starc was the protagonist in chief of England’s downfall, ending up with figures of 3/88, but mainly scalping two of his wickets on the morning of day three. 

Starc started the procession, first dismissing England skipper Ben Stokes on 17 in the first over of the morning, as the England skipper edged one to the third slip. Starc then dismissed the dangerous-looking Harry Brook on 50, employing a well-planned short-ball tactic. 

The fall of wickets continued, with Josh Hazlewood getting in on the act to dismiss Jonny Bairstow for 16. Travis Head, acting as Australia’s frontline spinner after Lyon’s injury would then scalp the next two wickets, sending back Oliie Robinson and Stuart Broad to the hutch for 9 and 12 respectively. 

Skipper Pat Cummins would scalp the final wicket, dismissing Josh Tongue on 1 with a brilliantly executed bouncer as England were left shell-shocked on what exactly had transpired in the morning session. Australia were elated as they took a handy lead of 91 at the end of the first innings. 

In reply, Australia got a solid opening partnership of 63, with David Warner and Usman Khawaja batting out for a large chunk of the second session. 

Warner was dismissed on 25 by Josh Tongue but the hosts were on the backfoot, with Australia’s lead swelling. Khawaja was joined by Marnus Labuschagne who saw out a tricky period before tea to ensure there was no further damage. 

Khawaja then continued his brilliant run in the series, bringing up his 23rd half-century in challenging overhead conditions, with dark clouds looming over Lord’s. 

James Anderson finally gave England something to celebrate, as Labuschagne slashed at a wide delivery from the veteran pacer to only find the fielder at point to walk back for 30. 

Bad light and showers would then force the players off the field, with Khawaja batting on 58* and Steve Smith on 6*, with Australia’s score on 130/2 and the lead at a healthy 221 runs. 

The rain continued to fall at Lord’s, leading to stumps being called early on day three. 

Courtesy: ICC

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