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Aakash Saini ∙ Jul 7 2023, 11:49 PM | 3 Min Read

Ashes 2023 | Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali Lead ENG Day 2 Fightback After Cummins Fiery Six-Fer

image-ljsv9jpcPat Cummins celebrates a wicket with teammates on Day 2 (Twitter)

England captain Ben Stokes led his team’s faltering batting effort on Day 2 of the Leeds Test with a brutal six-hitting assault. The dynamic batter elevated the hosts to a respectable 237, i.e., within 26 runs of Australia’s first-innings effort, after they were reduced to 167-8 at one stage.

Visiting skipper Pat Cummins struck four times throughout the day to finish the innings with a six-fer, thus registering his ninth five-wicket haul in Tests and his best figures in an Ashes match-up.

Thereafter, Australian batters tumbled in their second innings before eventually reaching stumps with a handy lead.

Stokes counters Cummins’ six-fer with lower-order rampage

England, resuming Day 2 at 68-3, lost Joe Root early to a peach from Pat Cummins. The English batting veteran failed to add to his overnight score, and made an early way for Moeen Ali to join Jonny Bairstow at the crease.

Both Ali and Bairstow failed to convert their starts into a big one and the hosts were eventually reduced to 167-8 at one stage. Thereafter, Ben Stokes rescued England’s sinking batting ship for the second time in succession this Ashes 2023 series by unleashing another six-hitting fury with the tail.

The skipper whacked a defiant 80 from just the 108 balls he faced in the innings, and engineered his side to 237.

Pat Cummins finished with six wickets, while Mitchell Starc struck twice by removing Bairstow and Chris Woakes. Spinner Todd Murphy and first-innings centurion Mitchell Marsh also claimed a wicket each, as Australia finished England’s first innings response with a handy 26-run lead.

Moeen Ali picks late wickets before Marsh, Head bat out till stumps

England pacer Stuart Broad removed visiting opener David Warner for the second time in this match, and for the 17th time in his Test career. Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne batted cautiously in their subsequent 57-run stand, before the latter became Moeen Ali’s first victim of the evening.

Ali also trapped Steve Smith a while later to reduce Australia to 72-3. Khawaja was the next to depart at 90-4 courtesy of Chris Woakes, and his dismissal paved the way for Mitchell Marsh into the middle.

Both Marsh and Travis Head batted out the remaining 12 overs of the session, and guided the Australian lead to 142 runs without further casualty by stumps on Day 2.

Brief Scores:

Australia: 263 all out (60.4)
Mitchell Marsh 118 (118), Travis Head 39 (74)
Mark Wood 5-34 (11.4), Chris Woakes 3-73 (17)

England: 237 all out (52.3)
Ben Stokes 80 (108), Zak Crawley 33 (39)
Pat Cummins 6-91 (18), Mitchell Starc 2-59 (14)

Australia: 116-4 (47)
Usman Khawaja 43 (96), Marnus Labuschagne 33 (77)
Moeen Ali 2-34 (17), Chris Woakes 1-28 (9)

Australia lead by 142 runs