The Ashes 2015 – Fifth Test, Day Two: Mirror Image

If you tuned into the live coverage of the Ashes last night, many a person may have stumbled and caught their breath after reading the scoreline. Finally, it was for a positive reason, with the astonished and shocked gasps of a familiar Australian batting collapse being transformed into a gasp of pleasure and slight relief at the tumultuous crumbling of the English middle order.

After enduring weeks on end of torment from a disliked Root or an annoying Bell, the walls came tumbling down, as a hint of satisfaction stuck out amid all of the grim grief that had been experienced since the infamous Edgbaston collapse that kick started a run of shoddy batsmanship from the Australian side.

Remarkably enough, with all of Warne’s bruising comments against the selectors of the Australian Cricket Team, it was the recalled man who marvelled in glory with a few fellow comrades who have seldom seen the limelight.

The crisp and clear London day forebode a positive result for the Australian’s, who resumed their batting innings after a widely contrasting performance on day one. Smith remained in, unbeaten and ready to fire with the rejuvenated Voges, who had finally seemed to have come to the realisation that he needed to perform if he wanted to be boarding the plane with his teammates to Bangladesh for their next tour.

The captain-in-waiting as his elderly advisor hammered on the runs after a cautious and precarious start, with Voges being the first out of the pair to recover the momentum, as he soon started dispatching English bowlers around with a comfortable ease that hadn’t been previously sighted this series.

As the partnership between the two soared to a startling 146, Voges unexpectedly fell for a well-made and strongly deserved 76, with Stokes magically making the Duke swing in sharply to the pads of Voges. The swing was made even more surprising by the fact that, up until that ball, swing at such large proportions appeared as likely as the Loch Ness Monster appearing and waving happily to adoring Scottish citizens.

Finally, with the removal of one wicket came a second, with the bouncy Finn bending his back to produce a belter of an out swinger that unruffled the calm demeanour of Marsh early on in his innings.

The tide then appeared to settle, with Nevill buckling down and allowing Smith to work his magic from one end, with a century coming only after a wicket off a no ball just several runs short of a well-deserved ton. With an eleventh century coming just two years after his first at the same ground, the rise of Smith had been officially bookmarked as remarkable and scintillating.

With only an over remaining before the lunch break, Nevill unlucky tickled one down leg side into the waiting gloves of Buttler, with Johnson playing all around a regulation off spinner just two balls later, as Johnson waddled off with players behind him with an air of confusion around the ground, such was the nature of his bizarre dismissal.

After lunch, the train that once promised to tumble off the tracks found a way to correct itself, with Smith launching an impressive counter attack with Starc, who chimed in with a timely and excellent 58. Smith’s marathon 143 concluded an innings full of heroics and mental toughness, as the Aussies could now boast a total comfortably upwards of 400.

No later wagging occurred after the demise of Starc, with the remaining bowlers casting their minds to the bowling effort that was inevitable.

Cook and Lyth commenced their regular departure amidst rousing reception, as they looked to solidify what has been the only weak link for England’s batting this series.

The mission was just starting to settle into a relaxed lull, only for Cook to be swiftly removed by a jaffer of an off spinner from Lyon, who used guile, drift and overspin to clean bowl the English captain with the score only on 30.

Lyth then looked like he lamented the removal of his captain and opening partner, as he fell in quick fashion to the recalled act of Siddle, who found his lengths and a sizzling tick of pace that everyone had thought deserted him.

With Siddle’s first wicket being a confidence booster, his masterpiece of a ball to remove Bell’s off stump would have made Da Vinci cry in jealousy, with the majestic delivery being imprinted on many an impressed spectator at the ground or watching from all over the world.

The wicket of Bell sent the English camp into disarray, as they all started to panic against a familiar foe who had returned to prove once and for all that he was the real nemesis of the Poms. His kryptonite line and length deliveries unsettled not just Lyth and Bell, but the majority of the players who batted, as his consistency and edge of fiery pace assisted in wickets to his comrades.

Mitch Marsh arrived and showed why he should never have been dropped, as he recaptured form from Lord’s to pick up Root cheaply en route to three precious scalps. With Bairstow getting off to a rollicking start and promising to produce what he did in the fourth test, Johnson stepped up and quelled the threat, before striding back and allowing his unrecognised teammates to run riot.

Lyon and Marsh proceeded to pick up from where Johnson and Siddle left off, as they took three heart breaking wickets to end a day of domination for the Aussies, with England left reeling, Lord’s style, at 8-107.

With all hopes of a 3-1 or 4-1 scoreline being completely dashed, how quickly will this test match be finished?

For Australia, not soon enough, as they would love to savour a rare victory in the face of startling series defeat.

For England, not quickly enough, as they would love to end this match and start the post-series celebrations that they rightfully deserve.

Stumps- Day Two
Australia 481 all out (125.1 overs)
Smith 143
Warner 85
Voges 76
Starc 58

Finn- 3/90 (29.1)
Ali- 3/102 (18)
Stokes- 3/133 (29)

England 8/107 (40 overs)
Marsh- 3/18 (7)
Siddle- 2/18 (10)
Lyon- 2/32 (9)

Comments

  1. Peter Flynn says:

    Putrid cricket from two putrid sides who have putrid Test cricket skills.

    All in all.

    Putrid

  2. Jeez Flynny, with the Cats performance last night and missing out on the finals, life must be hardly worth living. Is Chappy ducking for cover?

  3. Peter Flynn says:

    Old Mate Chappy is in superb nick.

    This Ashes series has been complete shite.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    I agree with,PJF a bitterly disappointing series standard wise some shocking lack of value placed on there wickets by many batsmen from both sides and line and length bowling lack of dot balls,Siddle could have been important in this series and just any sort of care and fight with the bat in the 1st test would have made that test match result in a draw (due to the rain on what should have been the 5th day) so this game would have been a live rubber.

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