Athletic

Australia on the verge of winning the second Test of 2021 Ashes Series

Australia have taken control of the second Test of the ongoing 2021-2022 Ashes series thanks to a huge first-innings total. The hosts are presently in a great position to defeat England in the encounter. Captain Steven Smith declared their second innings after setting England a 468-run target to level the series. England have scored 82/4 at the end of day 4 and they will need 386 more runs to win. Let’s have a look at the second match scenario of the 2021 Ashes series between Australia and England.

AUS vs ENG Test Series 2021: Second Match Scenario

Australia’s Test Captain Pat Cummins is missing the second Test as he came close to a covid-19 positive case prior to the match. He is now adhering to South Australian health guidelines about coronavirus. According to sources, Cummins is expected to lead Australia in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG in Melbourne.

Former Australian skipper Steven Smith is leading the Australian team in the second Test in Adelaide in the absence of Pat Cummins. The hosts have maintained a strong lead against arch-rivals England in the match and are expected to win on day five.

Australia’s First Innings

Australia declared their first innings on 473/9d after electing to bat first. David Warner failed to reach his 25th Test century, but he and Marnus Labuschagne put on a solid 172-run stand for the second wicket. Warner returned to the pavilion after reaching 95 runs, while Labuschagne completed his century (103). When both batsmen left, Australia were at 241/3.

In the first innings, Australia’s skipper Steven Smith led the team to a big total. Smith returned to the pavilion after a 93-run innings. Alex Carey (51), Mitchell Starc (39), and Michael Neser (35) all gave him solid support in the middle. England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes took the highest three wickets.

England’s First Innings

England were bowled out for only 236 runs in their first innings, allowing Australia to take a 237-run lead. After quickly losing two openers, Captain Joe Root (62) and Dawid Malan (80) put up a third-wicket partnership of 138 runs.

England hoped to make a strong comeback with their partnership, but following their departures, things started to shift in Australia’s favor. England continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and failed to prevent a follow-on. However, Australia did not force England to bat again. Instead, they opted to bat once again. Left-arm quick pacer, Mitchell Starc took four wickets for Australia, while Nathan Lyon took three.

Australia’s Second Innings

Australia were eager to score fast in the second innings. Therefore, they continued to lose wickets in the middle despite scoring quickly. Steven Smith declared their second innings on 230/9d just before the Tea on day 4. With a 467-run lead, Australia’s campaign is confident of clinching the match, as they did in the first Test.

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head both scored 51 runs in the second innings. On the other hand, England’s Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, and Dawid Malan each took two wickets.

England lost Rory Burns (34), Haseeb Hamid (0), Dawid Malan (20), and Captain Joe Root (24) in the hunt for 468 runs. Ben Stokes (3*) is unbeaten at the crease at the end of day 4.

Verdict

Having already lost four crucial wickets, England’s chances of winning the second Test of the 2021 Ashes series are slim. Furthermore, chasing a huge total on day five is never easy. If England are to win the match, they will need at least a couple of outstanding performances on the final day. On the other hand, Australia will be looking to take all of England’s wickets as quickly as possible. In short, it’s Australia’s match to lose, and a team like Australia rarely makes a mistake in a game like this.

Source: United News of Bangladesh