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4th Test: Mitchell Starc sizzles for Australia but England control play on Day 2

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:35 IST

After a humiliating outing on the first day, the Australians finally had something to cheer about after the immaculate bowling performance of Mitchell Starc on Day 2 of the 4th Test at Trent Bridge on 7 August.

The Australian seamer bagged six wickets while conceding 111 runs - his career-best figures in Test cricket. The 25-year-old who had already dismissed Adam Lyth, Ian Bell and Alastair Cook on the first day, continued to trouble the opposition batsmen on the second day.

Starc struck early on Day 2 to cut short the free-flowing innings of Joe Root (130) for the tourists. The left-arm seamer struck again in a span of just three deliveries to send Mark Wood (24) packing. Starc's late movement turned out a bit too much for Jos Buttler (12) who became his sixth victim in the first innings.

Josh Hazlewood (2/97) and Mitchell Johnson (1/102) were also amongst wickets for Australia who were left chasing England's competitive lead of 331 runs after the first innings.

After ending Day 1 at 274/4, the hosts added 117 runs at the loss of five wickets before captain Alastair Cook declared the first innings at 391/9. Apart from Root, Jonny Bairstow (74) also made his presence felt while the late cameos by Moeen Ali (38) and Stuart Broad (24*) added to Australia's misery.

In the second innings, Australia got off to a solid start after Chris Rogers (52) and David Warner (64) added 113 runs for the first wicket. However, Ben Stokes scalped three wickets in three overs to rattle the visitors.

After dismissing Rogers in the 24th over, Stokes dismissed Warner and Shaun Marsh (2) in consecutive overs to unsettle the nerves of the Australian middle-order. Broad happily exploited the situation while sending Steven Smith (5) back in the hut and picking up his ninth wicket of the match.

Fall of wickets on Day 2

England innings:

70.3 overs: Mitchell Starc got Joe Root (130) out caught by the wicket-keeper. Root was lured into the drive only to force an outside edge that went straight into the hands of Peter Nevill behind the stumps.

72.1 overs: Mitchell Starc bowled Mark Wood (28) on an absolute ripper. Wood was a tad too slow to block the steaming yorker that went on to dislodge the bails after hitting the leg stump.

74.2 overs: Mitchell Starc bowled Jos Buttler (12) on a pitched up delivery. Buttler went for the ambitious drive only to get beaten by the late movement of the ball which crashed onto the stumps.

75.5 overs: Josh Hazlewood got Ben Stokes (5) out caught by the wicket-keeper. Stokes was looking to clip it down the leg side but got a faint edge that was collected cleanly by Peter Nevill behind the stumps.

83.2 overs: Mitchell Johnson got Moeen Ali (38) out caught at second slip. Ali was looking to steer it over the slip cordon but the hint of away movement forced an outside edge that was caught by Steven Smith in a spectacular one-handed effort.

Australian innings:

23.6 overs: Ben Stokes got Chris Rogers (52) out caught at third slip. Rogers was eager to play at it but ended up nicking it towards Joe Root who dived towards his left to complete a good one-handed catch.

25.6 overs: Ben Stokes got David Warner (64) out caught at mid-on. Warner was looking to play the pull shot but got a top-edge that went straight down the throat of Stuart Broad who doesn't drop those.

27.6 overs: Ben Stokes got Shaun Marsh (2) out caught at third slip. Marsh poked at a good length delivery only to edge it towards Joe Root who took it comfortably.

28.2 overs: Stuart Broad got Steven Smith (5) out caught at short point. Smith was looking to drive on the fuller delivery and sliced it up straight into the hands of Ben Stokes who was positioned there exclusively for that shot.

Counter-attack from England's lower-order

A counter-attack by England's lower-order almost stole Mitchell Starc's thunder on the second day of play. Following a middle-order collapse triggered by Starc's spell of 6-111, the hosts still managed to pluck out some useful runs in quick succession, courtesy of their lower-order batsmen.

England's nightwatchman Mark Wood (24) smacked Mitchell Johnson for 24 runs in 12 deliveries to initiate the counter-attack that was later perfected by Moeen Ali (38) and Stuart Broad (24*). Ali and Broad added a crucial 58 runs for the ninth wicket that saw England securing a healthy lead of 331 runs before skipper Alastair Cook declared the first innings at 391/9.

Day 1 review

Australia's hopes of levelling back the five-match Ashes series at Trent Bridge suffered a catastrophic blow after the tourists capitulated for a humiliating 60 runs in 18.3 overs - the shortest first innings in the history of Test cricket - in an annihilation that lasted just over 90 minutes.

Stuart Broad, who joined the 300 club of Test wickets, was in devastating form and bagged eight wickets while conceding a mere 15 runs - his career-best figures in Tests. If Australia's mediocre 136 all-out at Edgbaston in the third Test made the fans believe it could not get any worse, the tourists reached a new low at Trent Bridge to the sheer pleasure of the Barmy Army.

Skipper Michael Clarke was one of nine Australian batsmen who were dismissed caught behind either by the wicketkeeper or the slip cordon, which at one point accommodated as many as six fielders. To rub salt to their wounds, the extras (14) turned out to be the highest scorer for Australia while Mitchell Johnson (13), not for the first time in the series, was the highest-scorer among his teammates.

In reply, England amassed 274 runs at the loss of four wickets riding on the back of Joe Root's gritty hundred at the end of Day 1. Jonny Bairstow (74) was also pivotal while being part of the mammoth 173-run partnership for the fourth wicket alongside Root for England.

Disclaimer: Please note that this article has only been updated till the 37th over in Australia's second innings on Day 2.

First published: 7 August 2015, 9:09 IST
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.