It was another day that belonged to the visitors as Steven Smith brought up his maiden Test century. That, however, came before an entire session was washed out due to rain. Prakash Govindasreenivasan looks back at the happenings of Day Two of the fifth Ashes Test.
Rain ruins first session
Australia would not have been too happy waking up to the news that showers were around and had the potential to ruin a major part of Day Two. The last time rain came along in this series, Australia were left stranded in a good position and England retained the urn.
If the forecast for the remaining days continues to be the same, Australia could be robbed of another opportunity to try and win a Test in this series.
Steven Smith’s maiden ton
Steven Smith‘s maiden Test tonon Thursday is a classic case of repaying faith. At a time when Australia have been chopping and changing the line-up at every possibility, Smith is only second behind Peter Siddle, and skipper Michael Clarke of course, to play a string of matches on the trott.
After Shane Watson’s epic knock ended just a couple of overs before close of play on Day One, Smith took over the baton masterfully and took charge on Day Two. Due to Simon Kerrigan’s nightmarish debut, Alastair Cook threw the ball to dibbly-dobbly bowler Jonathan Trott. Smith used Trott’s lack of pace and brought up his century with a six.
This knock all but sealed his spot in the Australian squad for the Ashes series to be played Down Under towards the end of the year.
England’s troubles with slow overrate
England had a tough time in the field on Day Two. With a session wiped out due to rain, the Australian batsmen looked to score briskly to add enough on the board before they could declare. As for the home side, they struggled to finish their overs quickly. While the ICC expects teams to bowl 15 overs per hour, England failed to comply. In the end, when bad light intervened after play was extended beyond normal time, England were seven overs short. England’s bowling coach David Saker shifted the blame to a wet ball due a wet outfield as the reason behind the poor overrate.
Peter Siddle joins Sachin Tendulkar!
Peter Siddle, who walked out as the nightwatchman after Watson’s dismissal towards the end of Day Two managed to add 23 runs to the Australian total. He, however, was undone by a peach of a delivery from James Anderson. Angled in towards the right-hander, the ball moved away just a little bit to square up Siddle and take the top of off-stump. With this dismissal, Siddle joined Sachin Tendulkar as Anderson’s most scalped victim in Tests. Both have given their wicket to Anderson on nine occasions.
With a flat track at their disposal, the England batsmen will hope to play out the entire third day and make the visitors toil for their wickets. It is going to be a long day for Australia on the field, unless rain intervenes or the English batsmen self-implode.