Day two of second Ashes Test: Play finally begins as Archer shows potential
Jofra Archer offered a tantalising glimpse of his Ashes potential as England attempted to bowl their way back into the second Test having been dismissed for 258 at Lord’s.
After a washout on day one, visiting captain Tim Paine made the brave call to field first in what appeared welcoming batting conditions, the first Australian captain to insert the opposition since February 2016.
The gamble largely paid off, England’s innings subsiding shortly before 6pm, but battling knocks from Rory Burns (53) and Jonny Bairstow (52) provided a foothold in the game.
Stuart Broad removed David Warner with a beauty as the tourists reached 30 for one at stumps but Archer, England’s most eagerly anticipated debutant since Kevin Pietersen, turned in a compelling six-over cameo that hinted at plenty more to come.
He was wicketless at the close but generated a tangible electricity at the same ground where his super over helped England win the World Cup just a month ago.
Tweet of the day
Test debut for Archer
After starring for England in their World Cup triumph, Barbados-born Archer was finally given the chance to impress at Test level. Left out for the crushing defeat at Edgbaston, Archer came in for the injured James Anderson. Australia’s decision to bowl meant it looked unlikely the 24-year-old would have a chance with the ball on Thursday. However, with the hosts all out for 258, he had six overs, demonstrating his pace and livening the crowd by repeatedly breaking the 90mph barrier, albeit without taking a wicket. He conceded 10 runs and recorded three maidens.
Special day for Strauss family
The day’s play took place in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, with both sides donning limited-edition caps and shirts to raise funds in honour of former England captain Andrew Strauss’ late wife. Strauss and his two sons rang the five-minute bell and led the teams out to the field to a great ovation, while the majority of the sell-out crowd dressed in red to show their support.
While there was a belated start to the second Test, there was once again a premature end to a Jason Roy innings. The South Africa-born batsman was dismissed for a three-ball duck as Josh Hazlewood made a blistering start to justify Paine’s decision to bowl first. Roy has now made just 43 runs from his first four Test innings as an England opener, including the first Test at Edgbaston, with his 72 against Ireland coming at number three.
Catch of the day
Burns was given little time to bask in the glory of his half-century due to the superb reflexes of Cameron Bancroft. Bancroft dived full stretch to his left at short leg and managed to hold on to the catch after England opener Burns, who made 53, fended Pat Cummins’ short delivery off his hip.
Hazlewood back with a bang
The Australian paceman was left out of the opening Test at Edgbaston. But, after being selected in place of the rested James Pattinson, his recall proved detrimental to the hosts’ bid to level the series. Hazlewood trapped Roy lbw with just his third ball of the day and followed that up with three successive maidens and the dismissal of Joe Root. After also removing Joe Denly, he finished with figures of three for 58 from 22 overs, including six maidens.
Improvement from umpires
In the Edgbaston match, umpire Joel Wilson tied the Test record for the most decisions overturned by the Decision Review System (eight). The officials fared far better on Thursday. On-field duo Aleem Dar and Chris Gaffaney, with Wilson assisting them as the TV umpire, had no decisions overturned. Dar, from Pakistan, also equalled Steve Bucknor’s record for umpiring the most Tests (128).
Prolonged downpours turned Wednesday’s opening day into a complete washout. There were no such problems on Thursday as play continued uninterrupted in north-west London, with the spectators bathed in sunshine for much of the day. Friday’s Met Office forecast is not as promising, however. Cloudy conditions in the morning are expected to make way for light rain in the afternoon, followed by heavy downpours from 4pm.
August 16: England v Australia, day three of the second Ashes Test, Lord’s.