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England on the brink of regaining the Ashes

891   //    07 Aug 2015, 22:17 IST
england australia day 2 report
Ben Stokes was on fire during Australia’s second innings

Australia’s woes deepened on day 2 of the 4th Ashes Test at Nottingham as they ended the day with 241 runs on the board for 7 wickets with a 90-run deficit. 

Earlier in the day, England began cautiously before Mitchell Starc struck for the 4th time in the innings removing centurion Joe Root for a well compiled 130. The left-arm seamer cleaned up nightwatchman Mark Wood for 25 in his very next over. But he was in no mood to stop as he gave Australia a small hope by removing Jos Buttler in the following over leaving England precariously placed at 320 for 7.

When Josh Hazlewood got rid of Ben Stokes shortly, it was expected that England wouldn’t even make 350, but Moeen Ali’s counter attacking 38 took them to 391 for 9 when Alastair Cook surprised a few by declaring the innings. 

Imagine having a deficit of 331 just before tea on day 2 of a Test match which you desperately do not want to lose. The holders wanted a solid opening partnership and that’s exactly what they got even though both Chris Rogers and David Warner survived some nervy moments. 

The 37-year-old veteran got a reprieve when he was batting on 47 as he edged to the slip cordon where Joe Root plucked a one-handed stunner. Replays confirmed that it was actually a no ball and England for the first time got a little restless. 

But Ben Stokes kept on probing and was able to extract some swing as well on a consistent basis. He found the edge of Rogers’ bat off the very next over where Root took a great catch yet again to break the opening stand of 113.

Warner who had went past a 50 hit a six and a four off the very next over against Mark Wood, but a slight misjudgement cost his wicket as Stokes struck again. The Durham all-rounder was easily the pick of the bowlers and dismissed comeback man Shaun Marsh to pick his 3rd wicket in 3 overs. 

This had put England firmly on the drivers seat and in came the skipper who was under tremendous pressure to deliver in order to potentially save his international career. But then, he saw Smith get out just two balls later to Stuart Broad which brought in Adam Voges who was also battling form. 

The experienced duo hung in there for a while before the skipper was dismissed by Wood for 13. Stokes came back to dismiss Peter Nevill and Mitchell Johnson in quick succession to pick up a richly deserved 5-wicket haul. Australia have somehow managed to take the match into day 3 courtesy of the bad light which forced the umpires to call stumps with a few overs remaining. 

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