The Ashes 2015 – Third Test, Day 2: The giant Jenga drop

If you were to make a list of the most stressful situations in the world, being an avid fan of the Australian cricket team would be right up there with the President of the United States or the coach of the Carlton Football Club.

With all of the current ups and downs that the Australian team are going through against England, the lowest low was reached overnight in what was a stunningly terrible showing of test match cricket, as the underdogs in the Poms smacked the Aussies in every facet of the game.

If the Ashes were a game of Jenga, then the Aussies tower would have been shaking early on after the first test, but would have corrected the pile with a strong showing at Lord’s. Sadly enough, after the effort, or lack thereof, on day two, a massive tremor would have sent the pile shaking side to side furiously, as the tower is all but set to fall on day three.

The disappointing day of cricket for Australia began in decent fashion, as they reached the highest peak of their day with a fantastic double wicket over by Johnson, who is carrying the Australian bowling attack on his shoulders like Atlas did to the sky in Greek mythology.

With Bairstow and Stokes both removed cheaply in the second over of the day’s play, some optimists could have been the Aussies getting back into the match via a rout of the bottom order. Unfortunately, the visitors had to leak 40 cheap runs away before removing the big scalp of Root, as Starc finally broke through the fog full of wides and half volleys to pick up a wicket out of nowhere.

But suddenly, with the removal of Buttler eight runs later courtesy of the tight bowling of Lyon, hopes were harboured of dissipating the bottom order and restricting the hosts to a total under 200.

Yet again, the hopes were squashed like an ant under a steel capped shoe, with the likes of Ali and Broad wrenching the momentum firmly back into the hands of England, as they slammed on 87 runs in quick time.

Finally, with the score rocketing towards 300, Broad and Ali wandered back to the dressing rooms within quick succession, with the former’s solid 31 complimenting the latter’s flowing 59.

With English minds already day dreaming over Anderson, Finn and Broad steaming in, the removal of Anderson cheaply all but helped to motivate the ideal picture, as they finished on a respectable 281 all out.

Shortly after Anderson’s dismissal, Rogers and Warner trudged out to face a cauldron that had heated up in pressure remarkably since they were fielding, as the rowdy Edgbaston crowd were finally focused fully on the cricket.

The pressure appeared too hot for Rogers, with the only stable batsman in the Aussie line up perishing just 17 runs, and four overs in. Broad managed to pick up the veteran opener yet again, as he was fast becoming a scalp of the tall blonde Pom.

Smith came in and appeared to be more fluent then he was on day one, as Warner raced along in what was the most free flowing innings he had produced since the Australian summer. With the pressure seeming to be forced back onto English shoulders, Smith’s new grudge in Finn came on and ruined the middle order, with Smith, Clarke and Voges all falling for low single figures.

Marsh collapsed in a heap not long afterwards, with Finn running through the Aussies like he was Usain Bolt on a nice plush surface. Finally Warner found a suitable partner, as Nevill provided sensibility and calmness to the worrying Aussie cause. But, much like the visitors throughout the whole match, the partnership couldn’t be maintained, as both Warner and Johnson fell while being on the brink of creating a strong partnership with Nevill.

With those wickets, including a fifth for Finn, the Aussies ended the day with seven wickets down and only 23 runs to the better of the English first innings total. If alarm bells weren’t already ringing, then they are now, with the third test being all but a lost cause to the visitors.

Put on your helmets, because this Jenga block is set to come tumbling down.

Stumps- Day 2
England 281 all out (67.1 overs)
Root 63
Ali 59
Bell 53

Lyon- 3/36 (13)
Hazlewood- 3/74 (15)

Australia 7/168 (55 overs)
Warner 77
Nevill 37*

Finn- 5 wickets

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