/Bairstow, Woakes steady England as Australia edge ahead

Bairstow, Woakes steady England as Australia edge ahead

ASHES 2019

Hazlewood bagged three to put England under pressure.

Hazlewood bagged three to put England under pressure. © Getty

Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow’s counterattacking partnership offset the advantage Australia gained through four regular strikes in the post-Lunch session as England went into Tea at 201 for 6 on Day 2 of the Lord’s Test. The home team slipped from 92 for 2 to 138 for 6 in the first half – with all four Australian bowlers contributing to the cause – but Woakes and Bairstow combined together to add 63 runs in 94 deliveries and rescue England from the mid-innings collapse.

Rory Burns picked up from where he had left off at the session break and quickly moved into his 40s as Josh Hazlewood served up a rare expensive over first up after Lunch. However, he recovered quickly from that to put an end to the stubborn third-wicket partnership, inducing an edge off Joe Denly for keeper Tim Paine. Burns saw a thick outside edge zip past the slip cordon to fetch him another boundary that took his score to 47, and then another edge put down, this time behind the stumps, off Peter Siddle once again. Twice lucky, he raised his 119-ball half-century with a brace off the final ball of the same over.

The Cummins vs Burns battle saw the batsman copping another couple of blows to the body in the space of three deliveries. The bowler eventually triumphed as Burns lobbed one to Cameron Bancroft at short leg, trying to fend yet another short-pitched delivery. Bancroft dived full length to his left and pulled off the ridiculously low catch on the second attempt, never for a moment taking his eyes off the ball as it popped out of his grasp the first time.

Siddle got third time lucky when Jos Buttler poked at a length delivery outside off that he should have best left alone. Paine made no mistake this time as England were reduced to 136 for 5 in the 15 overs since Lunch. Nathan Lyon joined the party soon after to push England further on the back foot. Stokes had come out with intent and was quick in collecting his 13 runs including three boundaries. But Lyon found a way past him, trapping Stokes plumb in front of the stumps when he missed his paddle sweep.

Undeterred, Bairstow picked up the pace and helped England get a move on as he hit Siddle for a couple of authoritative boundaries down the ground in the over. It could have been a total disaster for England, but much like Denly and Burns show in the first session, Bairstow and Chris Woakes’s partnership resurrected the innings for the second time. Woakes was more watchful of the two, but neither were flashy. They did enjoy their fair share of luck, with edges falling short of fielders, and brought up their fifty partnership off just 68 deliveries. Woakes then took the hosts past 200 in their first innings with a single off Lyon off the penultimate ball of the session.

Earlier in the day, Hazlewood stood out amongst all Australian bowlers to claim two wickets and put England in early trouble before Burns and Denly revived the innings. Justifying his selection ahead of Mitchell Starc, Hazlewood induced an edge off Roy off just his third delivery in the game after Paine inserted the opposition in. Into his fifth over, he put an end to Joe Root’s early fireworks, trapping him plumb in front of the stumps to reduce England to 26 for 2. Denly and Burns joined hands for an unbeaten half-century stand to take England to a score of respectability at Lunch, all for it to be overturned an hour into the second session.

Brief scores: England 201/6 (Rory Burns 53, Jonny Bairstow 36*; Josh Hazlewood 3-42, Pat Cummins 1-35) vs Australia.

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