Biggest moments from a thrilling final day
Vicious bouncers, spectacular catches and plenty of controversy on the final day of the second Ashes Test
Sam Ferris at Lord's
19 August 2019, 07:26 AM AEST
The fifth and final day of the second Test was full of action right from the outset.
With the match hanging in the balance at the start of play with England 4-96 and leading by 104 runs, the game was there for the taking.
Unpredicted showers delayed the start of play by more than hour but once the players got on the field they produced plenty of highlights, and a few lowlights, that kept the jam-packed crowd on the edge of their seats.
Below are some of the big moments of day five at Lord's.
History is made
Before was a bowled there was drama. Steve Smith, who was struck on the forearm and neck by searing Jofra Archer bouncers on day four, was ruled out of the remainder of the match after reporting symptoms of delayed concussion. Australia lodged a concussion substitute application for Marnus Labuschagne to replace Smith, which was approved by ICC Match Referee Ranjun Madugalle as a like-for-like replacement. Smith is now in serious doubt for the third Test starting in Leeds from Thursday, while Labuschagne had a big role to play on day five.
Seventh heaven for Stokes
For England to be a chance of winning they needed a substantial total to make sure they couldn't lose the match, but also leave themselves enough time to take 10 Australian wickets. The hosts posted 5-258 declared, with the allrounder contributing an unbeaten 115. It was Stokes's seventh Test century and one of two halves; he first had to survive the final session of day four and start of day five to keep the Australians out of the match, but once he passed his half-century, his next 50 runs came in just 54 balls. The left-hander hit 11 fours and two sixes as England motored towards a declaration to leave Australia needing 267 runs to win from 48 overs.
Welcome to back to Test cricket
Having watched Archer blast out David Warner and Usman Khawaja inside six overs, Labuschagne walked to the crease with Australia 2-19. Facing up to Archer, the rapid fast bowler who felled Smith the day before, Labuschagne was dropped by a lightning bolt from the Test debutant. But unlike Smith, Labuschagne was hit in the grille of his helmet and bounced straight back to his feet. He passed the concussion assessment on the field and continued batting on for another two hours. The right-hander made an valuable 59 from 100 balls before he was out in controversial circumstances, but more on that later.
Roy's head-scratching drop
With England desperate to break the fourth-wicket stand of Labuschagne and Travis Head, skipper Joe Root turned to Stokes for some magic, and the allrounder almost delivered. Stokes conjured an outside edge from the bat of Head which flew to Jason Roy at second slip. But the opener dropped the chance, letting it slip right through his fingers, into his stomach and out again to give Head a reprieve on 22. Head would not offer another chance and be there at stumps unbeaten on 42. However, he was forced to watch his teammates fall in extraordinary fashion at the other end.
Root overcomes turf to take classic
Head and Labuschagne had weathered the Archer storm and muted the spin of Jack Leach until a freak chain of events saw the back of the concussion substitute. Labuschagne swept a full Leach ball out of the rough into Jos Buttler at short leg, the ball ricocheting to a diving Root at mid-wicket, who claimed a tight catch. The batsman started to walk off but the umpires wanted to check the catch was clean and sent the decision to the third umpire with a soft signal of out. Early replays, particularly from side on, looked as though the ball had bounced before Root wrapped his hands around it. But the third umpire deemed Root had got his fingers under the ball and Labuschagne was on his way.
Root's catch was special, but it had nothing on Joe Denly's effort a short time later. Australia captain Tim Paine had handled the pace of Archer but couldn't resist taking the speedster on with a hook shot. While Paine got a fair chunk of it, his shot was spectacularly intercepted by Denly fielding at mid-wicket. In a brief moment in the final session, the sun broke through the dark clouds just in time to shine on Denly, who acrobatically jumped in the air, threw his left hand out and plucked the ball to the amazement of the packed Lord's crowd. It was the last time the home supporters cheered as vice-captains Head and Pat Cummins batted out the final 3.5 overs to seal the draw.
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), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: Match drawn at 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