England cricketer Joe Denly produced an absolute blinder to get rid of Australian skipper Tim Paine on the final day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Sunday. Chasing an unlikely 267 to win on Day 5 of the test match, Australia got off to a poor start as they lost both David Warner and Usman Khawaja inside six overs. Warner continued to disappoint as he departed cheaply yet again while Khawaja got out to a peach of a delivery, with Jofra Archer accounting for both the dismissals.
Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Bancroft batting together ensured that Australia did not lose any more wickets in the session and reached 46/2 at tea. Bancroft however did not last long after tea as he was pinned dead on the back foot off a Jack Leach delivery. Australia looked in a spot of bother before Travis Head and Labuschagne added 85 for the fourth wicket to revive the Australian innings. Labuschagne brought up his second Test fifty before hoofing one up awkwardly for Joe Root to take a diving stunner.
Leach struck again removing Matthew Wade reigniting England’s hopes of levelling the series with a Test match win at Lords. Australian skipper Tim Paine walked out to partner Head in the middle with half the Australian side back in the dressing room. Paine and Head were just starting to look settled, surviving the balls of Leach, when the former tried to play the pull shot to Jofra Archer and ended up losing his wicket to the big Jamaican in a crucial situation to leave Australia in deep trouble once again at 149/6.
It was a brilliant take from Denly who dived to his right before plucking the ball out of thin air to grab a one-handed stunner. It was an irresponsible shot from the Australian skipper who had to occupy for the crease for a few more overs in a bid to make sure that the match ended in a draw. The effort from Denly gave the hosts a glimmer of hope before the match ended in a draw which was always on the cards after the match saw a whole of five sessions washed out due to rain at the home of cricket.
Earlier, Joe Root declared his side’s second innings on 258/5. England all-rounder Ben Stokes was unbeaten on 115 when Root closed the innings after lunch on the last day. Australia are without Steve Smith after the star batsman was ruled out with a concussion suffered when he was hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer during his 92 on Saturday. Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 courtesy of their 251-run victory in the first Test at Edgbaston last week. The third Test gets underway at Headingley on Thursday.