Labuschagne and Warner knock down Ashes as England pays for drops | Ashes 2021-22
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England Ashes are hoping they have suffered another painful blow in Adelaide as they mustered just two wickets on day one of the second test, with Jos Buttler in the spotlight after pulling off a costly pair of catches.
The tourists were in desperate need of a retaliation in the day-to-night clash after their nine-wicket loss to Gabba, but were reduced to 221-for-two by Australia.
Marnus Labuschagne was far from his best but still scored 95 points and David Warner took a pedestrian start for the same score. Just like four years ago, England relied on a battery of right-arm crimps and failed, their attack missing the powerful rhythm of Mark Wood at rest and the rotation of Jack Leach’s left arm with the ax. .
The kind of carnage that can sometimes occur during the ‘twilight’ period simply never materialized and it will already take a considerable change of fortunes to push the national team back from its position of strength.
Buttler, in particular, will want to banish all memories of the match after groping Labuschagne to the side of the leg on the 21st and then pointing to a barely believable drop when he was five years younger than his century. After nearly 85 overs of toil, James Anderson finally fashioned England’s first real advantage only for Buttler to pull off the easiest take imaginable.
Tourists must have felt like luck was on their side when a Covid alert excluded Australian captain Pat Cummins from the game within hours of notice, but were denied the opportunity to pressure the reconfigured bowling line-up when Joe Root lost the pitch. Steve Smith, back in charge for the first time since the sandpaper scandal, chose to strike against the returning duo of Anderson and Stuart Broad first.
Broad joined his new ball partner as one of 10 players to win 150 test caps and quickly started making his mark in the series after being left out in Brisbane last week. His old rivalry with Warner was soon in the spotlight and Broad was dangerously close to reclaiming his southpaw dominance in 2019 with his first ball.
Offering no blow to whoever was heading for the wicket, Warner was punched on the front pad but survived a long scream from lbw. It was the start of a devilishly tough time for the opener, whose first hour in the crease contained just a single point and two more big calls in weight. Broad got him in trouble for the second time on nothing but missed the pitch, while England burned a second DRS benchmark on Chris Woakes.
Broad and Anderson kept the scoring rate at a snail’s pace despite minimal swing, but it took a rare one to get them on the board. Marcus Harris went after a drag, grazing the side of the leg where Buttler threw himself into a brilliant one-handed grip. Things would only get worse for the teller.
In drinks, Australia had crept to 15-to-one, but both batters were racking up valuable time in the middle. By lunch they had risen to 45, with Labuschagne almost sending happy England when he flashed Ben Stokes between the two through the drawstring.
The evening session drained English optimism, with 84 runs, a lost hold and a constant stream of limits as Warner finally started making hay after his slow start.
Labuschagne shot one a few inches above the square-legged man to break a long scoreless streak, then shoved Stokes off his hips towards Buttler. It was a much simpler chance than what he had clung to Harris on, but he juggled it with the ground for what would prove to be a costly dud.
Root summed up the mood with a sad pat on the back as Warner poured salt on Stokes’ injuries with a pair of hard punches for four to reach his half-century. Root almost helped his team out of a hole, Labuschagne flirting with a slip hold on 45 and Warner almost playing for 61. Instead, England reached the gap by relying on the spotlight to 129 for one.
The night’s game started with an Australian acceleration, Labuschagne crushing a long jump from Anderson to the ropes as the 39-year-old hit the turf in frustration before he and Warner took on Stokes.
For the second game in a row, Warner gave it a century after his 94 in Brisbane with 95 as he hammered a wide, woolly delivery from Stokes straight to Broad in point.
Even at 176 for two, Smith’s arrival as the natural light faded offered some hope. But that gradually dissipated as England moved away. In the best bowling conditions, Stokes stayed too long in the role of “manager,” causing infrequent inconvenience, and the sight of Root rushing through another period of breaks as Broad and Anderson waited for the night to come. new bullet was troubling on several occasions. levels.
Eventually England unwrapped the fresh Kookaburra, but by then Smith had acclimatized and Labuschagne was within reach of a ton of combat. Buttler’s grinning drop starved tourists from the late celebration, with a crowd of 32,000 screaming in glee as the big screen replayed its pain.
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