Just a very quick post this time – a brief account of the second day’s play in the fourth test match between England and Australia.
BAD LIGHT DELAYS ENGLAND
Bad light has just ended the second day’s play with England 3 wickets away from regaining the ashes. The last time England won an ashes match in two days was in 1890, while Australia did it in 1921. Five second innings wickets for Ben Stokes lit up the latter stages of the second day. While a mid-series change is unlikely it is hard to see Michael Clarke’s tenure as Aussie captain lasting beyond the denouement at the Oval. Right from the start of play yesterday, when Aus were 10-3 after eight balls this match has progressed at ludicrous speed, but given the circumstances the craziest passage of play of the lot was just before tea today when Australia gave four wickets away in the twinkling of an eye. Adam Voges has to his name the highest score of the series by an Aussie batting at 4, 5 or 6 with 48 not out.
What both this match and its predecessor at Edgbaston have amply demonstrated is that the current Aussie side is full of ‘flat track bullies’ – they can score colossally when the ball isn’t doing anything (witness a combined tally of 820-10 in their two innings at Lord’s) but as soon as there is sideways movement they cannot cope.
Shaun Marsh, who replaced his brother Mitchell for this game to strengthen the batting twice threw his wicket away for next to nothing, creating the prospect of a baton pass from brother to brother back to brother in as many matches.
My final word for today is this: congratulations to the Trent Bridge groundsman for producing a wicket on which both bowlers and batsmen had a fair chance of success. We have had two days of superb entertainment.