England was left “bewildered” while Ollie Pope was “angry” after the hosts’ vice-captain re-injured his shoulder on day three of the second Test, supposedly told by officials that his side would need to field with 10 men unless he took the field.
Having collapsed on the morning of day three to be all out for 325, England was 221 runs in arrears with Australia 2-130 in its second innings after rain forced an early end to play at Lord’s.
Usman Khawaja was unbeaten on 58, while Steve Smith was six not out.
Pope hurt his right shoulder diving in the field on day one. Despite leaving the field for the remainder of the innings, Pope was allowed to bat at No. 3 in the first innings because his injury was deemed an external one. He made 42.
But England’s camp says it was told that in order to be allowed to bat at No. 3 and not at No. 7 in the second innings, Pope would need to field.
He then hurt the shoulder again after landing heavily, and was allowed to go off as it was deemed a fresh external injury.
The English camp was miffed by how the situation had unfolded, but spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel said Pope would be fit enough to bat in his side’s second innings.
“We’re a bit bewildered by it all, I suppose,” Patel said.
“It‘s a bit confusing. We assumed that he was asked that he had to be back out on the field or we would have to field with 10 men. And that made no sense to me. Or us anyway.”
Patel said England was still waiting for further information from match referee Andy Pycroft.
“We haven‘t clarified that yet with the officials as to why he was told he had to get back out in the field. I mean, it’s pretty tough situation when you nearly bust your shoulder and you’re told it was an external (injury),” Patel said.
“He had to go back out there. It was always going to happen. He‘s so committed to this team. He was always going to fall on something. And now he’s back off.
“It’s a bit messy, if I’m being honest with you. We’re probably as frustrated as everyone else that was out there that saw what happened and him and he’s probably more angry at the situation than anything else.”
The ICC was contacted for comment.
Australian paceman Mitchell Starc meanwhile said the onus was on the Aussie pace quartet to do the bulk of the second innings damage after Nathan Lyon’s calf injury on Friday.
“Today in the innings it was more around how to find ways to get those to those chances,” Starc said.
“If we needed to bring in someone like Travis (Head) to come in with a bit of a bit of spin to get through some overs. He‘s played a role for us in the past in Test matches, he is happy to take that on which he did again today to pick up a couple of wickets. There’s an option there for us. You’ve got Steve (Smith) and Marnus (Labuschagne) who have bowled in the past as well.
“We’re down nearly 500 test wickets in Nathan. But we’ve got guys who can come in and fill a role there. If us quickies do our job and take the bulk of the work and wickets then we can focus on that first and foremost and then address it for the next game with obviously Toddy (Murphy) in the squad as well.”
Re-live all the Day Three action in our live coverage below.
STUMPS: AUSTRALIA PUNISH ENGLAND IN SERIES-DEFINING DAY
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect day for Australia, considering the disasters they endured yesterday.
From losing Nathan Lyon to a series-ending calf injury, to watching their first-innings lead erode, it would’ve been easy for Australia to go into their shell on day three.
Instead they leave Lord’s with a 221-run lead, and eight wickets in hand, after rain caused an early finish.
How did they get there?
Largely thanks to the inspired short-pitch bowling from Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, which ripped the heart out of England’s middle order before Travis Head stepped in for the injured Lyon to clean up the tail.
England lost 6-47 in a truly shambolic collapse that went a long way towards gift-wrapping the second Test for Australia.
Starting with a 91-run advantage, Australia reached stumps at 2-130, with Usman Khawaja again tourists’ rock – unbeaten on 58 at stumps.
With a solid forecast for the remaining two days, Australia are in a tremendous position to claim a dominant 2-0 lead in this series, and well on track to win the Ashes on foreign soil for the first time since 2001.
2.30AM: WILL PLAY RESTART TONIGHT?
That’s the big question!
The big covers are on in the middle of Lord’s, and it’s just a light drizzle but there’s no starting play while it hangs around.
And in order for play to be restarted tonight, play needs to be restarted in the next half an hour – by 6pm local time.
So time is running out for anything more to happen today.
If it does finish tonight, and Australia ends the day with a lead of 221, with eight wickets in hand and two days to play, Pat Cummins and his team will feel extremely happy with their position.
2.10AM: RAIN HALTS PLAY AT LORD’S
It’s been very dark for a couple of hours, and now it’s started to rain.
So the umpires have called a halt to play, with Usman Khawaja not out after a patient 58 and Steve Smith on six.
Just the one wicket has fallen after the tea break, that of Marnus Labuschagne caught off a loose delivery from Jimmy Anderson for 30.
Australia’s lead has grown, slowly, to 221 with a further 25 overs to be played tonight – if they can continue playing, with rain around and bad light also becoming a factor.
“They might find it difficult to get back on tonight,” warns Ricky Ponting.
2.00AM: KHAWAJA OUTDOES 2019 OPENERS
It’s 2am on the east coast of Australia, which means it is time for an Usman Khawaja appreciation post.
The Australian ironman is at it again, frustrating England’s paceman with his relentless, methodical approach.
It’s delivered his third 50-plus score of the series, which has incredibly already seen him eclipse the combined efforts of Australia’s 2019 Ashes openers.
Four years ago David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris, in various combinations, were rolled out as Australia’s opening pair across the five Ashes Tests.
In total, they scored 197 runs.
Khawaja bettered that in the first Test alone – and, now on 58, he’s only 19 runs away from cracking the 300 run mark this series.
1.45AM: WICKET! ANDERSON NABS HIS FIRST
A wicket! And a loose one at that.
Jimmy Anderson gives Marnus Labuschagne a wide long-hop, and it is cut hard – but straight to Harry Brook at point.
That’s not a terrific shot, and brings to an end a largely forgettable innings from Labuschagne, albeit in very trying conditions.
He rode his luck, but he departs for 30 with Australia’s lead 209.
Steve Smith joins Usman Khawaja at the crease.
1.30AM: BROAD FURIOUS AFTER DRS DISASTER
For the third time in the past hour, Stuart Broad has tried out his patented ‘celebrappeal’ – and for the third time he’s been denied.
This time, a straighter LBW to Marnus Labuschagne, is the best shout of the lot. And for good reason – subsequent replays show that had England gone for a review, Labuschagne would have been on his way.
That’s hit low on the pad, and is swinging a great deal but Labsuchagne has moved across his stumps just enough that it would’ve crashed into leg stump.
But England are wary of Broad’s constant appealing, and captain Ben Stokes – burnt already on a failed DRS once this innings – cannot be convinced on this once.
“If you always think it’s out (as Broad does), eventually they’re going to say ‘no Stuart, not again’,” suggests Nasser Hussain, hinting at a boy-who-cried-wolf scenario.
Coach Brendon McCullum, from the England balcony, sends the message to Broad that it would’ve been out, and it sends the fiery quick into a rage.
He’s muttered to himself for the past five minutes.
1.20AM: KHAWAJA NOTCHES ANOTHER 50
What a series Usman Khawaja is having.
On the back of his matchwinning knocks of 141 and 65 at Edgbaston, he’s now on a mission to bat England out of the second Test – and run their bowlers into the ground.
Khawaja brings up his half century with a straight drive, off a Stuart Broad full toss, for four.
“That’s about as elegant as it gets,” says Nasser Hussain in commentary.
Australia’s lead is up to 192, and England’s quicks – who have put in a mountain of work – are starting to look weary.
1.10AM: ‘ABYSMAL’ ENGLAND THROWING ASHES AWAY
The final session is underway, and it is tough going out in the middle. Two balls after the resumption post-tea, Jimmy Anderson whizzes a short ball past Marnus Labuschagne’s nose.
The Aussies’s eyes are like dinner plates in response. That’s woken him up, and proves there is life in this contest – but England need a hatful of wickets in this session.
It makes you think back to the wasteful batting of the first session, and what could’ve been if England had been able to bat through until, or after, lunch – and come close to parity.
Instead, they’re fighting to save this Test. And, in reality, save the Ashes. 2-0 down against this Australian team is not a hole you want to find yourself in.
“England have batted abysmally from the time that Nathan Lyon went off yesterday,” SEN commentator Adam Collins said in the midst of England 6-47 collapse on Friday.
“Such a daft effort …. (England) had two genuine chances to seriously hurt Australia’s attack and botched them both for no logical reason.”
TEA: BROAD’S CELEBRAPPEALING NO MATCH FOR AUSSIES
There’s no ignoring it: this is as in charge as Australia have been at any point in this series.
The stunning bowling in the morning session was followed up by a more patient middle session where Australia lost the wicket of David Warner in tricky conditions, and build their lead to 172.
Usman Khawaja is unbeaten on 45, continuing his masterful hold on this series.
England fired a warning shot of sorts late in the session, however.
The final two balls of the session, fans were treated to a pair of Stuart Broad ‘celebrappeals’ – his trademark appeal for a wicket where he runs down the wicket in celebration, rather than appealing to the umpire.
On both occasions, the first a speculative caught behind shout and the second a firmer LBW chance, he was denied.
And on both occasions he failed to convince captain Ben Stokes to send it upstairs.
And on both occasions, umpire Ahsan Raza was vindicated – with no edge on the caught behind, and ball-tracker confirmed the LBW chance was sliding down the leg side.
Never change, though, Broady.
12.35AM: AUSSIE GREAT’S UMPIRE PRAISE
The Australian batsmen might not be thrilled that they’re being forced to face Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad in semi-darkness under thick clouds, but one Australian great is.
Champion batsman Mark Waugh has long been a critic of cricket’s penchant for scampering off the field for bad light and light rain – denying crowds, and fans watching on tv, the chance to watch a gripping contest.
And he praised umpires Ahsan Raza and Chris Gaffaney for persisting despite the protests of the Australians.
It’s not having too dramatic an impact on Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne, at this stage.
Khawaja is nearing his third 50-plus score of the series, as Australia’s lead creeps up towards 200.
12.17AM: CRUCIAL DRS CALL SAVES MARNUS
Another big shout for LBW, and another one given!
This time it is Marnus Labuschagne who is rapped on the pads by Josh Tongue, but this looks less certain – and the Australian No.3 does review after a brief consultation with Usman Khawaja.
And it is a smart review, as this one has hit Labuschagne just outside the off-stump. A green light, another life.
That would’ve been a huge scalp, with Labuschagne on just three. He gives Khawaja a fist-bump, and himself a little ‘come on!’ rev-up, and gets back to business.
The ball is doing plenty, right now. And it is very dark. To an amateur viewer like myself, I’d say batting is extremely difficult in these conditions.
Australia have had several chats to the umpires – and it isn’t a stretch to assume that they’re asking about the state of the light, with England rolling out their quickest paceman.
12.05AM: WICKET! WARNER ROCKED AS LORD’S GETS DARK
A bright start for Australia comes to an end – and it’s Josh Tongue, England’s best bowler in the first innings, who gets the breakthrough.
Coming around the wicket, Tongue breaches Warner’s defence and thuds into the pads. It hits underneath the kneeroll and there’s no hesitation to give him out.
But Warner reviews! It seems a rather desperate review, and ball-tracker has that one hammering into the leg stump, sending Warner on his way for 25.
That’s a similar dismissal to how Warner was brought undone in the first innings, when he was bowled.
A strong opening stand of 63 has increased Australia’s lead to 154.
It’s getting very dark at Lord’s, now, and the Australian batsmen seem to be raising that issue with the umpires.
MIDNIGHT: STARC CHANNELS AND MATCHES JOHNSON IN FIERY SPELL
Mitchell Starc has made a career out of proving people wrong, and he added another chapter to that particular book on Friday morning at Lord’s.
Barely 12 hours after having his place in the second Test questioned after being a controversial – in some quarters – selection ahead of the incumbent Scott Boland, Starc ripped England to pieces.
Needing a lift after the dispiriting news that Nathan Lyon was unlikely to feature again this series, Starc delivered a killer blow with just the second delivery of the morning: claiming the scalp of England captain Ben Stokes.
His stranglehold over Harry Brook, in the middle of a fearsome spell of short-pitched fast bowling, will leave a few scars for the young England star that could fester as the series goes on.
It was reminiscent of Mitchell Johnson’s terrifying 2013-14 Ashes, when he had England jumping out of the way of his thunderbolts.
So it made sense that when Starc eventually knocked over Brook, with another vicious Johnson-esque short-ball, it was the wicket which drew him level with his fellow left-arm tearaway.
The two are now both on 313 wickets, in equal fifth spot on Australia’s all-time Test wicket-takers.
Next ahead of Starc is arguably Australia’s greatest ever quick, Dennis Lillee, on 355.
11.35PM: MORE ENGLAND WOE AS POPE JARS SHOULDER
It goes from bad to worse, and worse again for England.
On an already dismal day for the home side, they’ve just watched as vice-captain Ollie Pope once again leaves the field for assessment on his busted right shoulder.
Pope first suffered the injury when he landed heavily in the field in the first innings, missing the bulk of Australia’s innings, before returning to bat at No.3 for England.
He was able to take his place at midwicket for England after lunch today, but was clearly trying to minimise using his right shoulder – refusing to throw the ball overarm with his preferred hand.
But worse was to come, as Pope slid to stop a ball and again landed hard on his right side with his arm outstretched.
He yelped in pain, and didn’t waste any time leaving the field for another conversation with the England physio.
Meanwhile, Australia are 0-47 with a lead of 138.
11.15PM: DROPPED! ANDERSON SPILLS A HOT CHANCE
A chance! England need to take those, but that was no dolly.
Usman Khawaja smoked a pull shot off Josh Tongue that gave a delightful crack off the bat, but was sent in the direction of Jimmy Anderson at midwicket.
The only problem for Anderson being that it went like a tracer bullet, and he barely had time to react before it was already past the England veteran.
It’s four runs for Khawaja, and another moment of regret for England. Things have not gone their way since the opening over today.
11.10PM: WHAT SORT OF TARGET SHOULD AUSTRALIA BE EYEING?
Australia have started steadily in their post-lunch period, dulling the impact of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad despite the reemergence of the London cloud cover.
After half an hour, Australia have moved to 0-26, without presenting any chances for England’s tiring pace attack.
With two and a half days still to play, there’s an enormous amount of cricket left in this Test. But what sort of a lead would Australia be setting their sights on?
Taking a 91-run advantage on the first innings has set them up perfectly to take the game in whatever direction they would like.
Typically, you wouldn’t want to be chasing much more than 250 in the fourth innings of a Lord’s Test, and Australia could well have reached that mark before stumps today.
It’s feasible that they could have a 400-run target in mind for England to chase.
But two key factors change that: the Bazball movement means that any target, in theory, is attainable. And, even more crucially, Australia will be without their talismanic spinner Nathan Lyon to exploit the spin-friendly conditions on a wearing pitch.
Incredibly, Australia have had the tougher batting conditions throughout the series – Ricky Ponting joking in commentary that a local was in control of the weather conditions, as the clouds returned after the lunch break.
10.47PM: ENGLAND GETTING DESPERATE, BURN BAD REVIEW
It’s falling apart for England, with the home side sloppily burning a review shortly after lunch.
Jimmy Anderson thinks he has Usman Khawaja trapped in front, and more to the point Joe Root certainly thinks it is out.
It’s a loud shout, and looks dead in front, but sounded like there are two noises, which would explain the not-out call from the on-field umpire.
“I think he’s absolutely smashed it,” says Ben Stokes says to his teammates as they convene to discuss the DRS call, but he’s been convinced by his teammates – Root in particular – to go upstairs.
It takes just one replay to see a clear inside edge. Khawaja survives, and Australia remain 0-13.
10.40PM: AUSTRALIA’S GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
The second session is upon us and after some utterly mad batting by England earlier today, Australia have been presented with a golden opportunity to strike a hammer blow in this series.
If Australia can win the next two sessions, it will take something extraordinary for England to avoid defeat – and an 0-2 series deficit.
It would be a long way back from there, but England’s self-belief is unshakable.
And throughout the series to date there have been such wild momentum swings not just between days and sessions, but even within sessions.
Australia are firmly on top now, even allowing for Nathan Lyon’s untimely injury, but they’ll be well aware they’re one Stuart Broad spell of magic away from this Test being back in the balance.
LUNCH: AUSSIES ON TOP AFTER ‘KAMIKAZE CRICKET’ COLLAPSE
And so ends a brilliant session from Australia – which is rounded off by a gripping six-over examination of David Warner and Usman Khawaja.
Stuart Broad doing battle with Warner. Khawaja navigating Jimmy Anderson’s best.
Even the sedate Lord’s crowd was riding every delivery.
There is nothing to gain for an opener in this scenario, beyond survival and an enjoyable lunch.
And that is what they were able to do, going to lunch at 0-12 – adding to Australia’s first-innings lead, which is 103 at the main break.
That Australia have a lead at all is remarkable, and comes down to England playing ‘kamikaze cricket’ in the morning session – when they lost 6-47 in a mindboggling collapse.
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins led the charge with a short-pitch barrage that unsettled England’s middle order, before Travis Head added a pair of wickets as the tail faltered.
“It was kamikaze cricket. It was a bumpathon. England went flapping – and Australia picked up wickets quickly and very cheaply,” said Kevin Pietersen.
9.30PM: ALL OUT! ENGLAND ROLLED FOR 325
What a morning for Australia. Pat Cummins takes the final wicket, another short ball doing the job as Josh Tongue fends a catch to Matt Renshaw at bat pad.
That’s a fantastic bowling performance from Australia, who take a 91-run first innings lead before lunch on day three.
Starting the day with Harry Brook and Ben Stokes at the crease, and with Jonny Bairstow still to come, England capitulated to be all out for 325.
They lost 6-47 in just 90 minutes to hand all the ascendancy to Australia in this pivotal second Test.
Now it’s a tense few overs for Usman Khawaja and David Warner before lunch. All to lose, nothing to gain. Can they survive the Broad and Anderson show?
9.25PM: WICKET! HEAD HAS TWO
Travis Head has another! He’s ripping through England’s lower order, this time taking out Stuart Broad with an LBW.
Broad, perhaps still reeling from the brutal bouncer the previous over, plays all around a straight one but completely mistimes his sweep shot.
He’s hit low on the pad, but throws out a desperate call for DRS, which returns three reds. He goes for 12.
And suddenly England are down to their last partnership, still 91 runs behind Australia.
9.20PM: WICKET! HEAD STRIKES AFTER WORRYING BROAD BLOW
Ollie Robinson’s brief cameo comes to an end. He’s out for 9, caught behind off Travis Head.
Stepping into Nathan Lyon’s shoes is a big challenge, but that’s a nice delivery from Head – who is helped out by Robinson charging down the wicket.
It looked like a stumping chance, except Alex Carey never whipped the bails off… because there was a decent edge. That is a fantastic catch.
Meanwhile, there’s concern for Stuart Broad also after he is rattled by a nasty, nasty bouncer. Broad was struck by a vicious short ball from Cameron Green, and truthfully had little idea about it.
It looks like he’s taken the full blow on the jaw – ricocheting off his shoulder and sliding underneath the helmet grille.
Australian players quickly rush in to check on Broad, before the England physio comes out to check on Broad’s jaw – and presumably conduct an on-field concussion Test.
9.05PM: WICKET! BAIRSTOW SUFFERS BRAIN FADE
England are capitulating here. Truly bizarre batting, and now it is the dangerous Jonny Bairstow who departs.
Straight after the drinks break, Bairstow is on his way for 16 after tamely chipping a length ball from Josh Hazlewood to Pat Cummins at mid-on.
He’s everywhere at the moment, Cummins, but that was one of the easier catches he’ll take at Test level.
The England tail is well and truly exposed now, with Ollie Robinson joining Stuart Broad in the middle.
More bouncers to come, you’d expect.
England still trail by 105 on Australia’s first innings.
9.00PM: ENGLAND GREAT SAVAGES BROOK DISMISSAL
Australia have enjoyed a dream start to day three – and it hasn’t taken long for the cracks to appear in England’s love affair with Bazball.
Harry Brook’s meek dismissal, after reaching 50, when he succumbed to Australia’s short-pitched strategy was savaged by England great Michael Vaughan.
Speaking on BBC Radio, Vaughan ripped into Brook and accused England of enjoying losing as they struggled through the morning session.
“England clearly like losing… seeing a player (Harry Brook) play a shot like that, it’s just not good enough at this level,” Vaughan said.
Yesterday, when England lost three wickets in rapid fashion after a tremendous start from their top three, Vaughan was similarly scathing of Bazball.
“England need to be realistic. They cannot mix entertainment with stupidity,” he said.
“For the first 188 runs, England played good cricket with proper shots.
“Australian bowlers got no help as the ball was not doing anything, so they resorted to short balls. What came next was pure stupidity.”
Fellow BBC commentator Henry Moeran was also unimpressed, describing England’s batting on Friday as ‘farcical’.
After a eventful opening hour, England reached 6-311 – still 105 runs behind Australia’s first-innings total, but with the dangerous Jonny Bairstow still at the crease.
8.40PM: WICKET! STARC BOUNCES OUT BROOK
It’s been coming, this one.
Australia have attacked Harry Brook with the short ball and he’s not looked comfortable at all this morning.
Mitchell Starc gets the rewards, with an accurate bouncer directed at the body causing Brook to back away as he attempts a risky pull shot.
Instead, it skews off the bat to Pat Cummins lurking at cover.
Brook goes for 50, and this has been an impressive fightback from Australia – and Starc in particular.
England trail by 123 as Stuart Broad comes to the crease – and he can expect the chin music to continue.
8.35PM: CUMMINS LEFT STUNNED BY ‘MYSTERY NOISE’
Pat Cummins was absolutely convinced he had Brook caught behind on 50 – but received little support from Alex Carey behind the stumps.
There’s a clear noise, but it’s given not out and rightly so it turns out. Cummins will be pleased he couldn’t take his keeper into opting for a review, because there’s no spike on UltraEdge, until the ball is well past the bat.
What caused the mystery noise? Perhaps we’ll never know. But one thing we do know: Cummins and Starc are certainly going to continue their ruthless bouncer barrage at Brook.
8.25PM: STARC BOUNCER BARRAGE RATTLES ENGLAND STAR
Mitchell Starc landing an early punch in the mouth has shaken up this Test – not that we shouldn’t have expected more twists and turns, as that has been the entire series to date.
Whenever a team is on top, they falter. Whenever all hope is lost, a rainbow emerges.
That’s been the Ashes so far. And today is no different.
Reeling from the Nathan Lyon news, Australia desperately needed a pick-me-up and Starc delivered it.
It’s given Australia the impetus to attack Harry Brook with more short-pitch bowling, and Starc has landed some absolute ripsnorters to rattle England’s young star.
“This is the benefit of having extra pace in your bowling lineup – you can create something from nothing,” says ex-England ODI skipper Eoin Morgan.
Cummins continues the short-pitch barrage and Brook does well to take evasive action, but he fends the ball into his helmet.
There’ll be a quick check of the consussion protocols and possible a switch of helmets for Brook, but he appears quite content.
8.05PM: WICKET! STARC GETS IMMEDIATE BREAKTHROUGH
Perfect start from Australia! With just the second ball of the day, Mitchell Starc gets the big wicket of the England captain Ben Stokes.
Set up for a big short-ball field, Starc bowls a straight line on a perfect length to square Stokes up – and he gets a thick edge that is pouched by Cameorn Green at a wide third slip.
He only just managed to hang onto that one, right in the finger tips. But he doesn’t drop many.
Stokes goes for 17, England still trail Australia’s first innings score by 137 runs.
In comes Jonny Bairstow.
“It looks like they’re going really aggressive to Harry Brook – and I expect the same for Jonny Bairstow,” says Aaron Finch.
7.55PM: LYON ‘SHATTERED’ OVER SERIES-ENDING INJURY
It is a cruel irony that in his 100th consecutive Test, the first time the feat has been achieved by a bowler, Nathan Lyon has suffered the first serious injury of his career.
One of the most durable cricketers of all-time, Lyon will miss the rest of the Ashes with the injury – a realisation that left the star off-spinner ‘shattered’ according to teammate Steve Smith.
“He was pretty shattered last night, as you can imagine,” said Steve Smith.
“He was very keen to have an impact in this game. It’s going to be a big loss for us.”
7.35PM: WEATHER UPDATE: PERFECT BATTING CONDITIONS
This is the news Australia’s pace quartet don’t want to hear – but, perhaps, raises the hopes of their top-order batsmen.
The sun is burning through the London clouds, and it looks set to be a dream day for batting as England set out to eat away at Australia’s first innings lead.
They trail by just 138, and have Bazball specialists Harry Brook and Ben Stokes at the crease, with Jonny Bairstow the next man in.
After that, it’s a long-ish tail for the home side, so quick wickets in the morning session will be essential for Australia.
7.10PM: LYON TO BE RULED OUT OF ASHES
By Ben Horne and Daniel Cherny
Australian superstar Nathan Lyon is expected to be ruled out of the rest of the Ashes series after suffering a calf injury on day two of the Lord’s Test.
While nothing has been officially confirmed, Lyon arrived at the ground on crutches and all signs point to him missing the remaining three Tests.
It would be a seismic blow for Australia to lose a bowler who was on track to be the leading wicket-taker this series.
It means Todd Murphy is set to fill the shoes of Australia’s greatest ever off-spinner for the third Test starting Thursday next week.
Australia will have to rely on Travis Head to provide the spin overs to get them through the rest of the second Test.
Working against Lyon is the fact that this is the most congested Ashes series of all time, meaning there’s precious little wiggle room for him to make a miracle recovery.
7.00PM: HOW WILL AUSSIES REACT TO LIFE WITHOUT LYON?
As a new day dawned in London, Pat Cummins and the Australian team were forced to come to grips with the reality that they’ll be a man down for the rest of the Lord’s Test – and likely without Nathan Lyon for the rest of the series.
A calf injury suffered late on day two left the star spinner, in his 100th consecutive Test match, grimacing in pain as he limped off the field.
It will leave Australia a bowler short, with 16 wickets still to take to win the second Test and take a 2-0 series lead.
They’ll rely even more heavily on the pace trio of Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, likely sharing the rest of the overs between all-rounder Cameron Green and part-time spinners Travis Head and Steve Smith.
But there’s no replacing a player of Lyon’s quality. And England have shown a willingness to attack at all times – so if they sense a weakness in Australia, they will not hold back.
6.30PM: NO REGRETS: WILL SHORT-BALL TRAP HAUNT ENGLAND?
Ben Duckett insisted England had no regrets about their aggressive game-plan after the opener was one of several batsman to fall into Australia’s short-ball trap on a dramatic day at Lord’s.
In reply to Australia’s first-innings total of 416, England had seized back the momentum as they raced to 188-1 during Thursday’s second day of the second Test.
But Duckett, Ollie Pope and Joe Root all perished playing needlessly attacking hook shots in response to a barrage of Australia bouncers.
That reduced England to 222-4 before captain Ben Stokes restored order with a slightly more cautious approach alongside Harry Brook as the hosts reached 278-4 by the close of play.
Despite handing Australia a lifeline, Duckett was adamant there would be no recriminations in the England dressing room.
“I don’t regret it at all. I would have been gutted with myself if I had gone into my shell and gloved one to the keeper,” Duckett said after he was caught in the deep for 98 by David Warner.
“Ten metres either side of him I would have got a hundred. I’m not happy I got out but I’d rather get out like that.
“There wasn’t really any discussion. No one in that dressing room will be disappointed with how Pope got out. They will be gutted it didn’t go for six.
“Pope said ‘I’m going to smack it into the stands’ and I said ‘do it’. He was so unlucky to get a toe end on it.
“It’s the way we play our cricket. If we went into our shells and got bombed out it would be totally against the way we play.”
With the match evenly poised, play will resume today at 8pm AEST. – AFP
Originally published as Ashes 2023: England left bewildered over communication around Ollie Pope’s injury