Duckett misses out on ton, England 278/4 on Day 2 of Ashes Test against Australia

England opener Ben Duckett played a crucial knock on Day 2 of the second men’s Ashes Test at Lord’s, falling just short of a century at 98 runs. His valiant batting helped England reach 278/4 in 61 overs at stumps, trailing Australia by only 138 runs.

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Australia was bowled out for 416, with Steve Smith scoring a scintillating 110 runs for his 32nd Test century. England pacers Josh Tongue and Ollie Robinson took three wickets apiece as Australia lost their last five wickets for only 65 runs.

In response, England’s opening pair of Duckett and Zak Crawley put together a solid partnership of 91 runs. This was the team’s highest opening partnership in an Ashes Test since the 2010/11 series. However, they suffered a collapse, losing three wickets for just 34 runs in 7.3 overs. Despite losing star spinner Nathan Lyon to a calf injury, Australia put up a solid fight.

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However, skipper Ben Stokes (17 not out) and Harry Brook (45 not out) steadied the innings with an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 56 runs. This ensured that the hosts finished the day without any further loss. The trio of Stokes, Brook, and Jonny Bairstow are expected to play a crucial role for England as they look to regain control.

Australia began the day at 339/5 after a dominant performance on Day 1 but lost Alex Carey early. Stuart Broad’s delivery seamed into Carey’s back pad, as he was dismissed for 22 after a review was called for.

 

Smith, starting the day at 85 not out, scripted history, reaching his 32nd Test century. He achieved his feat in fewer innings than any other player in Test history. Australia’s lower order couldn’t contribute much as England took advantage of the second new ball. Only Pat Cummins (22 not out) reached double figures out of the last four batsmen.

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James Anderson finally got the wicket he deserved after toiling on day one, dismissing Mitchell Starc (6) with an edge through to Bairstow. After Smith’s dismissal and Australia crossing the 400-run mark, Robinson cleaned up the tail by removing Lyon (7) and Josh Hazlewood (4).

Crawley and Duckett provided a solid start to England’s reply, heading into lunch without losing a wicket. They continued their partnership after lunch until Lyon had Crawley stumped for 48, stopping him from reaching his 10th Test half-century.

Duckett then formed a solid 97-run partnership for the second wicket with Pope. The latter battled through a shoulder problem to contribute a valuable 42 runs. This placed England in a dominant position at 188/1 in the second Ashes Test, as Australia struggled with Lyon’s injury, leaving them a bowler short.

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However, the introduction of Cameron Green and a shift to consistent short-pitched bowling created an extraordinary hour of play in the evening session. Pope fell first, caught off Green to backward square. Duckett soon fell into the same trap, agonizingly missing out on a century by just two runs.

Root survived a Green no-ball early in his innings but was eventually dismissed for a frenetic 10 runs when Smith claimed a clean catch off Starc.

Stokes then stabilised the innings, refraining from hooking the short-pitched bowling as the scoring rate slowed down. England’s captain ended the day unbeaten alongside Brook, setting the stage for an exciting and finely balanced Day three of the Ashes Test.

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Root becomes 10th highest run scorer in Tests

England’s star batter Joe Root surpassed Australia’s Allan Border to take 10th place among the highest scorers in Test cricket.

Root could only score 10 runs England’s first innings before being dismissed by Mitchell Starc in the second Ashes Test. This was after his impressive knocks of of 118* and 46 in the previous Test at Birmingham.

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Having played in 132 Tests, Root has accumulated a total of 11,178 runs at an average of 50.57. He has 30 centuries and 58 half-centuries to his name in the lonbgest format, with his highest score being 254.

Allan Border, meanwhile, had scored 11,174 runs in 156 Tests with an average of 50.56. Border hit 27 centuries and 63 half-centuries, with a top score of 205.

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Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar still holds the record for the highest run-scorer in Test cricket. The Little Master has a mammoth 15,921 runs in 200 Tests to his name for an average of 53.78. He smashewd 51 centuries and 68 half-centuries in the format, with his best score being an unbeaten 248.

Following Tendulkar on the list of top scorers are Ricky Ponting of Australia (13,378 runs in 168 Tests), Jacques Kallis of South Africa (13,289 runs in 166 matches), India’s Rahul Dravid (13,288 runs in 164 matches), and England’s Alastair Cook (12,472 runs in 161 Tests).

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