Nathan Lyon

Lots to look back on Day 2 of the 2nd Test yesterday starting off with Australia’s continuous run chase from 300-3, where Marnus Labuschagne & Travis Head continued to shine for most of the 1st session after an excellent opening day shift that saw them hang in there & pile up runs for longer periods of time.

But their time in the middle has eventually came to an end in between towards the afternoon break & the early stages of the middle session; one was Marnus being caught behind by Joshua Da Silva off Devon Thomas not long before lunch on 163, and another was where Head couldn’t get back home on time as the non-striker that saw him being ran out by Da Silva on 175.

Then WI profited a few quick wickets through the tail order. Although keeper Alex Carey was the notable exception that kept Australia on the up with runs on the board; he too scored a quickfire 54-ball 41 before fill-in Captain Steve Smith declared at 511-7 for Australia. We would’ve loved to see him cap off with a Test 50 but played really well nonetheless.

And we fast forward to the 2nd innings play where Michael Neser fired off with back-to-back early wickets for the Aussies before that momentum helped them collect another two wickets by the end of Day 2, as WI will resume on 102-4 & 409 run trail going into Day 3 later this afternoon – with Tagenarine Chanderpaul on 47* & Anderson Phillip on 1*.

Hats off to Neser when he bowled a straight line & length that left Kraigg Braithwaite (19) & Sharmahr Brooks (8) straight back upstarts where their bats were knicked straight to Carey’s gloves. Same goes to Nathan Lyon with his caught & ball effort on Jermaine Blackwood (3), and nice to see Green get his wicket with a good bounce targeting off stump that saw Thomas (19) chopped on through the gate.

They’ve got this now to finish off the other WI batting card ASAP, while WI will want Tagenarine to hang in there with some back up at the other end. Otherwise, they will look for their tail enders again to try & fire it up downtown – If that’s the only way to turn themselves around like last week.

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West Indies resumed on 193-2 with 306 runs left to win following a magnificent knock yesterday from the main man Kraigg Braithwaite while Australia just need eight wickets to go 1-0 up & retain the series trophy, with just a full day’s play left to go on Day 5 of the opening Test match here at Optus Stadium in Perth. 

Australia got away with early wickets on the board spearheaded by Nathan Lyon when not only he clean bowled the dangerous K. Braithwaite through the stumps on 110 – but a good restart also helped them dismantle the Windies middle order – with credit from Steve Smith who’s excellent with catching & diving up close using these soft hands at the slips area.

Then the West Indies still has plenty to offer following the lunch break on 258-7 – when the lower order pair of Roston Chase  (spinning all-rounder) & Alzarri Joseph (seamer) began to smack a couple of incredible shots immediately downtown that added more runs on the board between them while shaving off their team’s huge run trail at the same time. Sadly, they couldn’t hold on for much longer with time running out against them when there’s only two more players left to bat from the tail end.

Roston may have got his quickfire 50, but Alzarri didn’t get past 43 when that unreal partnership was stopped by Travis Head through the gate – before Lyon came back once more to finish off the damage – including Chase on 55 & a first-ball duck from Kemar Roach – that sealed both his six-wicket haul & the win for Australia by 164 runs. The home side will now head to Adelaide Oval alongside the series win at 1-0 with one Test match to spare v WI, before South Africa fly here for three more Tests later this month.

Wow!! Five days of Test Cricket where we saw so much competition from both teams with the bat. However, Australia’s all-round performance – such as Marnus Labuschagne’s back-to-back hundreds, as well as Steve Smith, Travis Head & Spinner Nathan Lyon – have put themselves further ahead in which was enough to finish off first with some energy left in the tank. Can’t wait for the Day-Night test starting on Thursday.

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Australia resumed Day 4 on 29-1 alongside a 344 run advantage as they continued to shine with the bat. It was good to see Dave Warner collect some much-needed runs this time. Although he couldn’t get past 50 when he was caught by Sharmahr Brooks off Rostov Chase’s leg spin on 48, but sure he’ll get another opportunity to prove himself & score big during the next Test – which is going to be a day-nighter under the pink ball starting on Thursday afternoon at Adelaide Oval. 

Once again though, hats off to Marnus Labuschagne who scored another stellar ton on 104 not out after a few dropped catches have gone his way – including a no-ball wicket catch when Alzarri Joseph overstepped the white line. Australia have declared on 182-2 alongside a 497 run lead – that sets up a huge 498 run chase from the West Indies to win.

Going through past the other half of session No.2, as well as tea & stumps time, West Indies have continued to stick to simple basics right from the very beginning which helped them paid off with runs on the board. Not only Tagenarine Chanderpaul continued to make a consistent impact into the 40s before he was bowled out by Mitchell Starc on 46, but Kraigg Braithwaite also did very well as the main man for the Windies where he converted his 50 into a terrific Test Match hundred to savour. Now he will resume on 101 not out alongside Kyle Mayers on 0* off three balls – as WI are on 192-3 with 306 runs left to win in 92 overs – following the dismissals of Shamrahr Brooks (11) & Jermaine Blackwood (24) at the hands of Australia main spinner – Nathan Lyon.

So the Windies need K. Braithwaite to stay right through the very end & hopefully shock the Aussies out of nowhere – with back-up from Mayers or else Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva & Roston Chase later on – who can all bat a bit – while Kraigg does the hard work for WI. And Australia still needs to get the job done ASAP once they come back refreshed from overnight with just a full day’s play left to finish this 1st Test on a high at 1-0 in this two-match series.

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We fire off Day 3 with half-centuries from the West Indies opening pair of both Tagenarine Chanderpaul & later Kraigg Braithwaite. However, Australia came back refreshed following a wicket-less 3rd session from Day 2 overnight; Josh Hazlewood got the breakthrough shortly after Tagenarine’s 50 when he knicked it straight to Dave Warner at first slip – followed by Pat Cummins who bowled K.Braithwaite out through the gate on 64.

There may be some slip-ups along the way as the Windies kept batting as long as possible for most of yesterday – with Jermaine Blackwood thriving as a sub -batter on 36 after Nkrumah Bonner’s concussion off a short ball bounce into his helmet from Hazlewood – that forced him to retire hurt. So does the Jason Holder & Shamarh Brooks where they both scored 27 & 33 down at No.6 & No.7 respectively. 

It‘s still a long shot though when trying to get past Australia’s huge 1st innings total of 598 when Mitchell Starc cleared their top & middle order – including two stunning scalps of Jermaine Blackwood (LBW) & Joshua Da Silva (clean-bowled) – with the help of Nathan Lyon & Cameron Green, before Lyon & Cummins wrapped the Windies 1st innings batting total of 283.

And fast forward towards stumps time, The Windies captured Usman Khawaja early when he tried to cut it but then was caught behind Da Silva’s gloves off Kemar Roach for just 6 off 13 balls. So there you have it, Australia will pick up Day 4 for on 29-1 as they still hold a huge lead of 344 runs. The home side will need to add another 100-150 or maybe 200 with the bat for at least the first half of the day, then declare and bring the bowlers again to wrap up this 1st Test. Meanwhile, WI would love to get this entire Australian XI card out ASAP with a huge batting collapse; That way, they can come from behind & possibly shock the Aussies with the win on the 5th & final day tomorrow.

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There’s so much going on yesterday on Day 2 of the 5th Test at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, Australia resumed with the bat earlier in the afternoon on 241-6 when the end of the first day’s play was cut short due to rain as they were all out for 303.

Then England came in to bat and couldn’t catch up to the Aussies inside 50 overs where they were eventually wiped off on just 188 not long after tea, although the away team fought back early after the innings change with the ball but they are still behind by 152 runs going into Day 3 today. Meanwhile, Australia will resume with the bat once more at 37/3 with Steve Smith on 17* & nightwatchmen Scott Boland on 3*.

England still have deeper batting issues to address even though they’ve made more wholesale changes, yes it’s unlucky to see Rory Burns being run-out on his recall in place of Haseeb Hameed as Opener but it’s woeful when three of their Top 4 were trapped by Australian skipper Pat Cummins before Mitchell Starc shared the workload & finished the job. With the ball, it’s great to see England bounce back when the Australian Opening pair were sent back upstairs early plus Marnus Labuschagne, however, they better complete this batting collapse ASAP & go big if a win is possible for the first time in this Ashes Series.

Australia had some great moments when Nathan Lyon smashed a handful amount of runs on 31 at No.10 which is great to bow out past 300 during their 1st innings spell, they also restricted England in return of 188 thanks to Captain Cummins with a 4fer plus Mitchell Starc who finished the opposition’s bottom-half batting card. They were not good with the bat, however, in the 3rd innings when Dave Warner & Usman Khawaja were out again that cheap plus Labuschagne as they were very vulnerable off the England bounce. All they can do now is take their time with a few hours of play today, otherwise use that 4th innings spell with the ball as their main weapon & finish it up ASAP for the win.

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Well done to Australia on Day 1 at the MCG when they successfully done the damage after tea that ended England’s 1st innings total of 185 as they are on 61-1 at stumps with a 124 run trail behind them ahead of Day 2 tomorrow.

It’s great to see Scott Boland secure his maiden Test wicket in addition to two brilliant catches down at the rope, while Mitchell Starc scared off Bairstow that scooped straight to Cameron Green’s hands at gully before Nathan Lyon completed the remaining England tail-enders of Jack Leach & Ollie Robinson.

Looking at the bat now & it’s nice to see David Warner scoring quickfire runs but disappointed not to continue on 38 when he was caught by Zak Crawley off Jimmy Anderson, Marcus Harris is also making good progress despite having yet to score big in this Ashes Series as he hopes to prove selectors that he deserves to stay by scoring a ton tomorrow in front of his home crowd. And we’ll see what their nightwatchmen Nathan Lyon has something to offer with the bat before the top-order options come in & help Australia produce a big innings total than England.

Meanwhile at the England camp, Jonny Bairstow did his best to stay in there on 35 before he was so vulnerable by Starc that sent him back upstairs. We also saw Ollie Robinson & Jack Leach score some handy runs while it lasted, but England were already in a bad state anyway as they need their bowlers to produce the magic tomorrow like Jimmy Anderson did with Warner not long before stumps.

Getting rid of these dangermen early like Labuschagne, Steve Smith, etc could mean a lifeline for their Top 6 batsmen to rebound in the 2nd innings especially with a few changes at Opening & Middle-Order spots that will be tested once again to handle the Australian bowlers.

#AUSvENG #Ashes #Cricket #Australia #England #MelbourneCricketGround #MarcusHarris #DavidWarner #ScottBoland #NathanLyon #MitchellStarc #JimmyAnderson #JonnyBairstow #OllieRobinson #JackLeach

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It’s been a quiet middle session mightily for England when Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow hung in there to block & score some runs on the board but Stokes couldn’t execute that ramp shot over the rope as he was caught by Nathan Lyon at gully for 25.

The same goes for Joe Root who reached his test 50 after a great spell in the middle but got caught straight away when his head was not in-line & edged it to Alex Carey’s keeping gloves.

And while Australia’s momentum wasn’t the same after lunch, they saw Mitchell Starc & Cameron Green share the two wickets off Root & Stokes respectively before Nathan Lyon became the standout star when he caught Stokes at gully before he made Jos Buttler (3) mis-timed that loft drive to Scott Boland at deep square leg on the last ball of this session.

Score at Tea: England 128-6

All England can do now is gotta keep staying in there & block the good balls out with Bairstow on 21* with Mark Wood to come ahead of Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach & James Anderson while Australia hopes to finish off the England tail end before they can begin batting towards the end of Day 1 today.

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Great start by the Aussies at the MCG with skipper Pat Cummins back on the field after a short time in quarantine and smashing it with all three of England’s wickets so far this morning, love the way he produced some brilliant speed that matches with the line & areas which knicked the opposition straight into the slips & keeper.

Meanwhile, Joe Root needs his help to turn England’s poor AM start around after lunch when both openers (Haseeb Hameed & Zak Crawley) were gone cheaply with no idea to stop Cummins as well as Dawid Malan who was out a while ago on 14 as he was disappointed not to make up a big score in this 1st innings run.

All eyes on Ben Stokes to smash it big including Jonny Bairstow & Jos Buttler next in-line for England, while Australia let’s hope that Cummins continues his strong start alongside some support from the other quicks and spinner Nathan Lyon.

Score: England 61/3

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Australia hopes to go one better at the Melbourne Cricket Ground & retain the Urn having won the first two tests with three matches to go in the 2021-22 Ashes Series.

It’s good that they have kept most of the winning crop in their starting XI such as David Warner in the opening spot as well as a strong top and middle order arsenal that begins with Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green (Seam All-Rounder) and Alex Carey (Keeper).

Although Marcus Harris retained the other opening spot with Warner who hasn’t found the decent numbers delivered so far, but I think it’s his make or break opportunity to thrive at his home ground in Melbourne and if doesn’t even if Australia won then it may be good time to change a different opener for the New Year’s Test in Sydney.

Then we can talk about the bowlers where Australia made two changes with Pat Cummins back for Michael Neser at 8, now it’s a tough call when Neser did very well on his unexpected Test debut in Adelaide last week at age 31 but there’s Cummins is an extremely important member of the Baggy Green side especially when he was just given the captaincy after Tim Paine resigned to take a break so Neser had to go.

Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon stays on who hopes to continue their strong start & inflict more damage to England’s batting card. And Scott Boland makes his Test debut at age 32 in place of Jhye Richardson which is a breakthrough moment for him at his home ground.

Brilliant start from Pat Cummins by the way with both of England’s openers upon his return from isolation as Australia hopes to break the partnership of Joe Root & Dawid Malan ASAP with England 35-2.

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Nice seeing Joe Root & Dawid Malan pick up the pieces for England where they made up some lost time as this partnership continued to work like the previous test at the Gabba last week during the opening session, however, they weren’t unable to hold on that momentum after the dinner break even though it’s a long way away to chase that run trail down with England lost four wickets for 57 towards tea (197-6) before they were all out for 236 (237 runs behind Australia).

Australia on the other hand fought back after a slow start earlier in the afternoon (140-2 at dinner) as they still maintain a healthy run lead ahead of the change of innings with the option of enforcing the follow-on, but they instead not to do so & batted once again where Australia will resume at 45-1 alongside a 282 run lead on Day 4 tomorrow.

Credit from stand-in skipper Steve Smith, who picked up two catches off the dangerous Root & Malan pair, while Mitchell Starc continued to shine with four wickets on hand after a brilliant quickfire batting spell last night including some support from Cameron Green (2 wickets) & Nathan Lyon made England regret not bringing a dedicated spinner in this test.

With the bat during such a short time tonight, Marcus Harris would be disappointed when he didn’t communicate well that ran David Warner out but he’s fine right now at 21* with more to come & Michael Neser hopes to secure a debut Test 50 having been jettisoned to the crease as the nightwatchman before Australia can declare within 100-150 runs more so their bowlers are rested up to finish the job.

Going to back to England now apart from Root & Malan, it’s great to see Ben Stokes & Chris Woakes pick up handy runs as they can while Stuart Broad added just a few against a tiring Australian bowling attack plus a six off an unlucky mis-catch from Mitchell Starc before he was spot on the field via direct hit to Warner. There’s nothing else to say at this stage when England still need to try and limit Australia’s 2nd innings spell ASAP before going all-in for whatever run total they require with two days left at Adelaide Oval.

#AUSvENG #Ashes #Australia #England #TestCricket #Cricket #AdelaideOval

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