England fight back but Australia lead as 17 wickets tumble in Hobart

Published January 16, 2022
HOBART: Australian captain Pat Cummins celebrates after dismissing his England counterpart Joe Root during the fifth Ashes Test on Saturday.—AFP
HOBART: Australian captain Pat Cummins celebrates after dismissing his England counterpart Joe Root during the fifth Ashes Test on Saturday.—AFP

HOBART: England’s bowlers pegged back Australia with three wickets under the Hobart lights on Saturday night but the hosts reached the close of play on three for 37 with a lead of 152 runs after an eventful second day of the fifth Ashes Test.

The 8,711 crowd at Bellerive Oval witnessed the fall of 17 wickets over the day as Australia were dismissed for 303 in the opening session and England’s first innings ended on 188 under the floodlights of the night session.

There was still time for England to remove David Warner for a pair, Marnus Labuschagne for five and Usman Khawaja for 11 as the visiting bowlers got movement and bounce out of the pink ball.

Warner was caught brilliantly by Ollie Pope in the gully and was dismissed by Stuart Broad for the 14th time in his Test career, the seamer becoming England’s most prolific bowler in Ashes Tests with his 129th wicket.

Labuschagne fell for five, caught by wicketkeeper Sam Billings off Chris Woakes, while Mark Wood had Khawaja gloving a brutal short ball to Billings for 11.

Steve Smith, who had scored 17 not out, and nightwatchman Scott Boland, unbeaten on three, will resume on Sunday looking to build on Australia’s lead and put the hosts on course to wrap up the series 4-0.

“Bowling them out them out for 180 odd was a really good result,” said Australia captain Pat Cummins. “There are the kind of night session you’ve got to be wary of, if you get caught with a new ball. It was warm and humid tonight and the ball seemed to do a little bit more.

I think it was a really good effort to be only really three down in really tough conditions.”

Cummins had earlier taken 4-45 as the vanguard of Australia’s attack as England’s batting once again crumbled in the face of unbridled pace.

England’s top order yet again struggle against the seam and swing of Cummins and Mitchell Starc (3-53), who both beat the batsmen outside the off stump in a superb display of fast bowling.

England made a calamitous start with Rory Burns, recalled for the final test, run out with only two runs on the board, and Travis Head took a sharp catch from Zak Crawley (18) at forward short leg as England reached 34-2 at the dinner break on the second day.

Dawid Malan (25) and his captain Joe Root (34) put together a 49-run partnership that looked like bringing some solidity to the England innings but Cummins dismissed them both in short order, getting Malan caught behind down the leg-side and then brought one back sharply to pin down Root leg before wicket.

Chris Woakes was dropped twice in his 36, and Sam Billings made a solid 29 in his first test innings before he was caught on the boundary by Boland off Cameron Green’s bowling.

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon did not get to deliver a single ball in England’s innings as the pacemen took the load, but he pulled off a brilliant catch at point to dismiss Ben Stokes for four.

Lyon also contributed 31 runs, including three sixes, as Australia’s tailenders added 62 runs for the loss of the last four wickets in the opening session.

Wood (3-115) took two quick wickets of Starc and Cummins but Lyon hit the fast bowler for three sixes and a square driven boundary much to the frustration of England.

Alex Carey played onto his stumps from Woakes (2-64) after scoring 24 off 60 balls, but Lyon added 23 runs for the last wicket with Boland (10 not out). Broad wrapped up the innings when he clipped the bail to bowl Lyon and finish with 3-59.

England’s effort was not helped early on by being a bowler short, with Ollie Robinson still suffering from a back spasm that forced him off the field on Friday. The seamer did return to bowl in the evening session.

“We bowled really nicely tonight, we created some opportunities, created a lot of intensity,” said Billings. “It’s a huge session tomorrow. Obviously they’re in front of the game but we’ve got an opportunity to really make inroads in the morning.”

Scoreboard

AUSTRALIA (1st innings; overnight 241-6):

D. Warner c Crawley b Robinson 0

Usman Khawaja c Root b Broad 6

M. Labuschagne b Broad 44

S. Smith c Crawley b Robinson 0

T. Head c Robinson b Woakes 101

C. Green c Crawley b Wood 74

A. Carey b Woakes 24

M. Starc c Burns b Wood 3

P. Cummins c Crawley b Wood 2

N. Lyon b Broad 31

S. Boland not out 10

EXTRAS (B-3, LB-3, W-2) 8

TOTAL (all out, 75.4 overs) 303

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-3 (Warner), 2-7 (Khawaja), 3-12 (Smith), 4-83 (Labuschagne), 5-204 (Head), 6-236 (Green), 7-246 (Starc), 8-252 (Cummins), 9-280 (Carey).

BOWLING: Broad 24.4-4-59-3 (1w), Robinson 8-3-24-2, Wood 18-1-115-3, Woakes 15-2-64-2 (1w), Root 10-1-35-0.

ENGLAND (1st innings):

R. Burns run out 0

Z. Crawley c Head b Cummins 18

D. Malan c Carey b Cummins 25

J. Root lbw Cummins 34

B. Stokes c Lyon b Starc 4

O. Pope c Carey b Boland 14

S. Billings c Boland b Green 29

C. Woakes c Carey b Starc 36

M. Wood b Cummins 16

S. Broad b Starc 0

O. Robinson not out 0

EXTRAS (B-4, LB-8) 12

TOTAL (all out, 47.4 overs) 188

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-2 (Burns), 2-29 (Crawley), 3-78 (Malan), 4-81 (Root), 5-85 (Stokes), 6-110 (Pope), 7-152 (Billings), 8-182 (Woakes), 9-182 (Broad).

BOWLING: Starc 10-1-53-3, Cummins 13.4-2-45-4, Boland 14-6-33-1, Green 10-0-45-1.

AUSTRALIA (2nd innings):

D. Warner c Pope b Broad 0

Usman Khawaja c Billings b Wood 11

M. Labuschagne c Billings b Woakes 5

S. Smith not out 17

S. Boland not out 3

EXTRAS (LB-1) 1

TOTAL (for three wkts; 19 overs) 37

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-0 (Warner), 2-5 (Labuschagne), 3-33 (Khawaja).

TO BAT: T. Head, C. Green, A. Carey, M. Starc, P. Cummins, N. Lyon.

BOWLING: Broad 6-1-9-1, Woakes 5-1-13-1, Robinson 4-2-5-0, Wood 4-1-9-1.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2022

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