After a thrilling day of cricket at Edgebaston, we were treated to another enthralling day of action, with Usman Khawaja scoring his first Test Hundred on English soil to guide Australia to within 82 points of the lead. ‘England.
The second-rate batsman hit an impressive 126 from 279 and lifted his bat in glee after scoring his fourth ton against England, the fifteenth of his Test career, after hitting 14 boundaries to help the tourists reduce the deficit.
His run was imperative for the Aussies, who battled long in the glorious Birmingham sunshine to finish Matchday 3 311-5 after Ben Stoke’s side were declared 393-8 on Friday.
England performed well with the ball in hand, Stuart Broad brushing aside old foe David Warner (9) and Marnus Labuschagne (0), before Ben Stokes took Steve Smith’s wicket with an LBW. Moeen Ali, struck twice on his return to test cricket, stopping Travis Head on his half-century before pulling out Cameron Green (36)
Mail Sport’s David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd guides you through the day’s action from Edgbaston.
Usman Khawaja scored an epic hundred on Ashes matchday two to lead Australia’s fightback against England
Khawaja scored 14 limits to help tourists reduce England’s 82-run deficit
They ended the day 311-5, with Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali taking a pair of wickets, while Ben Stokes took the last
Baz is the buzzword
The buzzword is Baz but you see very little of Brendon McCullum. He is as discreet as possible.
I can reveal that on the second morning, before the doors opened and the hundreds of people were waiting to enter, McCullum in full England gear walked through them and not one whispered, nodded. raised an eyebrow or turned and said, ‘It’s Brendon McCullum!’
None of them pointed…
Bad player, bad place
I was in the pub and there were three guys lamenting that Shane Warne was no longer with us.
The conversation went to one of them saying he remembered Warne’s first delivery in England to Graham Gooch and his pal said “Where was that?”
So he said it was here in Edgbaston and his mate came back and said, “I remember. I was there!’
Not far guys. Just the wrong player and the wrong place!
Brendon McCullum isn’t easily spotted inside Edgebaston but he was pictured during the England warm-up
Shane Warne’s (right) first-ever Ashes cricket ball came against Mike Gatting at Old Trafford
Stokes keep us on our toes
With some cloud cover and the ball swinging enough, it was obviously time to call in part-time Harry Brook for the first English bowling change of the morning.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Ben Stokes never ceases to amaze us with his decisions, but Brook was thrown out after knocking one over to Steve Smith.
I expected Ben Duckett to come next, but instead Stokes went for the pace of Ollie Robinson.
What a strange decision that was! As the great Fred Trueman would say, “What’s going on over there?
Blue for Bob
It was Blue for Bob Day on the Saturday of the test match, raising money for prostate cancer.
Bob Willis would have loved that and it was an incredibly emotional day for me because he was such a special friend.
You can text 70843 if you want to donate. 70 is the age at which Bob died and 8 for 43 was his number in the Headingley Test match in 1981.
Smith’s move to Sussex works both ways
There have been a rumor or two about Steve Smith’s preparation playing county cricket before the Ashes, but it works in two ways.
A number of times he was fired from LBW while playing for Sussex.
That wouldn’t have been lost on the England analyst and he was trapped in front again with that shuffle and England launched straight at him.
Steve Smith (pictured) recently plied his trade in the Sussex County Championship but was surprised with an LBW from Ben Stokes
Stuart Broad (left) took a duo of wickets, dismissing David Warner once more before dismissing Manus Labuschagne
England rewarded for their trust in Ali
What goes through a drummer’s head, one has to wonder?
An accomplished player like Travis Head slid into Moeen Ali, pumping him down and scoring for the fun of it, but he tried it one too many times and lost his wicket, skewing one around the middle of the wicket.
It was a reward for Ben Stokes who had faith in Moeen, keeping the ground and getting his prize. It’s almost like buying a wicket and England have certainly bought one there.
‘When are you going to sing “Bus Stop?”‘
Bruce Springsteen was in concert at Villa Park and he did a three hour set. It must have been absolutely beautiful.
Reminds me of a theater night I did with Jonathan Agnew at Buxton Opera House and with a large crowd gathered outside I thought we had filled the arena but it turned out The Hollies was in the main theater, while we were in the smaller annex.
Stokes (right) tricked us with his bowling selections by opting to drop Harry Brook from the attack early on
But he was rewarded for keeping faith in Moeen Ali (pictured) who took a duo of wickets
The second half of our show was a Q&A session. You had to put the questions on paper in a wicker basket and one of the questions said, ‘I really enjoyed the first half, but when are you going to sing ‘Bus Stop?’
Bus Stop was one of Hollies great songs. They got the theater wrong!
Khawaja cracks in England
Usman Khawaja seems to have cracked him in England. He was so calm and a joy to watch at the crease, compared to people like David Warner and Steve Smith who were frantic and temperamental.
Khawaja makes the stick look organized and nice and how about this for a celebration?