Shambolic England fall to resilient Aussies
England slumped to 64 for five at tea on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord’s after Australia had set them what would be a new fourth-innings record total of 509 to win.
The first ball after the break, saw Jos Buttler caught behind off Mitchell Johnson to leave England 64 for six. Just four balls later that became 64 for seven when Moeen Ali fell for a duck when he fended a lifting Johnson ball to short leg. Opener Adam Lyth, out for a duck in the first innings, could only manage seven on Sunday before pushing at a lifting ball from Mitchell Starc and was caught behind by debutant wicket-keeper Peter Nevill.
England captain Alastair Cook, who batted for nearly six hours in making 96 during the first innings, certainly had the temperament required for the tricky situation but his technique deserted him when he fell to Johnson for 11.
After bowling out England for 312 at the end of day 3, Australia looked to press their advantage as openers David Warner and Chris Rogers took to the crease on day 4 with 119 runs on the board. All was going well until Rogers was forced to retire on 49 not out after suffering a dizzy spell.
The opener, who had added five runs to his overnight score of 44, was at the non-striker’s end when he called for the team physio, Alex Kountouris, and doctor, Steve Brukner, to come on to the field.
After the break in play, in which Rogers gave a signal to the pair while sitting on the turf that indicated he was suffering from blurred vision, he tentatively returned to the dressing room unassisted and was replaced at the crease by No 3 Steve Smith who added 58 runs to his tally before being bowled by Ali.
With the help of Warner (83), Australia declared their innings at 254 at the loss of 2 wickets leaving the hosts to chase. England bowled out for 103 runs, simply looked out of their depth against an inspired Australian bowling attack. With heavyweights like Cook, Lyth, Ballance and Bell failing to deliver, England’s batting order simply collapsed under the weight of the herculean chase, handing
Australia the victory and setting up a very interesting 3rd Test.