Aussie bowlers fire on captivating day
England stumble to be all out for 258, before Broad removes Warner late in the day to leave Australia 1-30
Andrew Ramsey at Lord's Cricket Ground, London
16 August 2019, 05:44 AM AEST
For all the hype and excitement surrounding fast bowler Jofra Archer's Test debut for England, it was old stager Stuart Broad who struck a clinical blow late on day two of the second Ashes Test.
With the opening day lost to rain and thoughts that residual moisture might lie in an otherwise dry Lord's pitch, Australia sent in their Ashes rivals and duly bowled them out for 258.
That was largely due to the immaculate bowling of recalled seamer Josh Hazlewood (3-58) who justified his return in place of James Pattinson (rested), and who was aided by the bullocking work of Pat Cummins (3-61) and spinner Nathan Lyon's 3-68 on what was effectively a first-day pitch.
But having achieved their aim after bowling first, and with the final session of each day at Lord's extended to claw back some of the time lost to Wednesday's rain, Australia faced a testing hour of batting at day's end.
The complexity of that task was compounded by the arrival of thick cloud which required the use of floodlights, and it proved the sort of circumstances in which Broad thrives.
Archer might have stolen the attention in his maiden spell, reaching speeds around 145kph and curling his second ball in Test cricket virtually around Cameron Bancroft's stumps and conceding four byes.
But it was an equally wicked ball from Broad that had the home fans on their feet late in the day, as the 33-year-old veered a delivery from around the wicket through David Warner's defence and took the opener's leg bail.
When stumps were drawn at 7pm London time, Australia were 1-30 with Bancroft (five from 36 balls) and Usman Khawaja (18) to resume against England's quicks armed with a ball 13 overs old.
If bowling conditions are similar to today's upon Friday's resumption, the pair will face a further challenge in the morning.
It took three deliveries for the decision to recall Hazlewood - based on the probability of him proving a handful at Lord's with its unique conditions – to be vindicated.
The 28-year-old's opening offering of the morning was pitched marginally short, tempting opener Jason Roy to attempt a forcing cut shot with feet firmly anchored and which yielded only a hefty bottom edge.
Next ball, Hazlewood landed what would have been a perfect length and line had it found the edge of Roy's limply proffered bat, and that oversight was addressed a ball later.
The uncertainty of Roy's three-ball duck coupled with his ungainly dismissal on the final morning at Edgbaston – when he heaved across the line and was bowled by Lyon – has raised queries about his temperament and technique in the unfamiliar role as opener.
His dismissal in today's second over, before England had put a run on the board, also provided Australia with the start they had sought when Tim Paine sent the hosts into bat upon winning the toss.
But that strategy began to look a little shaky when Cummins, and then Peter Siddle struggled to find rhythm and their usual control when operating in succession from the Pavilion End.
Whereas Hazlewood had dropped immediately on to a spot from which the ball could drift down the slope to right-handed batters or jag back into them using his natural angle on the crease, his fellow seamers were atypically leaking runs.
After England captain Joe Root took consecutive boundaries from Cummins – both from deft drives through the off-side from over-pitched deliveries – Siddle was called into action and suffered a similar fate.
The veteran's first spell (5-1-27-0) cost almost as much as the 12 parsimonious overs he sent down in the second innings of the opening Test, a contribution that his coach Justin Langer rated as a key to Australia's win even though it failed to yield a wicket.
But if Cummins and Siddle found trying to land the ball where they wanted a frustrating exercise, Hazlewood settled into his first Test match for more than seven months with disarming ease.
He captured the crucial wicket of Root, pinned on the crease by a ball that speared up the slope and into his pad, and despite Root's belief it might have been sliding down leg-side he wisely opted not to review.
When Hazlewood clattered Joe Denly on the helmet and the England number four was subjected to a mandatory concussion test, the home team were similarly unsteady at 2-31 after an hour.
That predicament would have been worse had Khawaja held a sharp, chest-high catch at gully that opener Rory Burns offered from Siddle's bowling.
While Khawaja got both hands to the attempt, the Australia slips cordon was stationed so close to the batter because of the slowness of the pitch that Bancroft – next to Khawaja at third slip – was wearing a protective helmet.
As had been the case in England's first innings at Birmingham, Burns proved best equipped to handle Australia's seam and spin attack despite his unorthodox stance and technique.
He and Denly not only survived until lunch, but made good progress in the early afternoon sun and at 2-71 come the long break and the pitch offering few demons, the traditionally sumptuous midday meal might not have sat altogether comfortably with the Australians.
By tea, however, any misgivings they might have harboured about bowling first had all but passed.
It wasn't only the fact that England lost four wickets in the afternoon session, it was the calibre of batter that fell which swing the balance Australia's way.
Denly added just three to his lunch score before falling in similar fashion to Roy, and Burns finally fell albeit in quite remarkable circumstances.
The left-hander was being peppered with short-pitched bowling into his body and, shortly after reaching a gritty half-century from 119 balls, he fended a ball that Cummins angled into his ribs towards the turf on the leg side.
He could barely believe his eyes when Bancroft, who former skipper Steve Waugh had recently anointed the best short-leg fielder he had ever seen, lunged low to his left, intercepted the ball centimetres from the ground and then completed the catch on the second grab.
So deft was the movement, umpires needed to check via slow-motion replays that Bancroft had achieved the seemingly impossible but the vision only served to highlight the brilliance of the catch.
The middle-order that has loomed as England's trump card given recent form showed flashes of defiance, most notably a flurry of boundaries from allrounder Ben Stokes.
But the demise of Jos Buttler (another to feather a catch behind the wicket) and, soon after, Stokes who missed an attempted sweep against Nathan Lyon and was so palpably lbw he didn't call for a second opinion, left England 6-138 and reeling.
If not for an enterprising 72-run stand for the seventh wicket between Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes (32), England might have been eyeing a batting disaster.
To try and fashion a breakthrough, with the ball having lost its hardness and sheen after almost 60 overs, Paine turned to Steve Smith's leg-spin and the former skipper felt he had Bairstow lbw when the England keeper padded-up to a delivery that didn't demonstrably spin.
So certain was Smith that he'd claimed his first Test wicket in almost three years, he convinced Paine to call for a DRS examination of the decision which showed the ball had hit Bairstow outside off-stump, rendering Australia review-less for the remainder of the innings.
The plan then became a sustained short-pitched barrage, especially against Woakes who encouraged the Australia quicks by playing a loose pull shot against Cummins that flew from top-edge and beyond the fine leg rope for six.
Several balls later, Cummins clocked the allrounder flush on the side of the head as Woakes tried unconvincingly to crouch beneath the bouncer and another standing concussion test ensued.
The 30-year-old was cleared to continue his innings, but he lasted just two more deliveries before attempting to tug another short ball to the leg side only to have it brush his glove on the way through to Paine.
The short-pitched strategy continued against Archer, who eventually bunted a leading edge to gully, and Broad who took to backing so far to the leg side that Bancroft was in greater danger of being trampled by the batter than struck by the ball.
However, it was Lyon who found a way through Broad's defence and then had Bairstow caught in the deep to finish the innings equal with Dennis Lillee on 355 Test wickets, and poised to claim third place on Australia's all-time wicket-takers list come the second innings.
Australia XI: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (c/wk), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
England XI: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (c), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach
Session times (all times local):
First session: 11am-1pm
Second session: 1.40pm-4.10pm
Third session: 4.30pm-6.30pm
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval