NOTEBOOK OF ASHES: England hero Kate Cross makes history, Australia’s flag finally hoists on the Old Trafford pavilion and Moeen Ali is second only to Marnus Labuschagne at number 3
- Dan Lawrence was at the center of a bizarre event at the County Championship
- Lancashire could have raised a lot of cash Covid didn’t stop construction
- Relive the action on the exciting second day of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford
Zak Crawley stole the headlines on a fabulous day for England at Old Trafford, which saw them 67 runs ahead at stumps after some brilliant batting.
After James Anderson discarded Pat Cummins’ first ball and Chris Woakes completed his first Test five against Australia, Crawley quickly made amends for the early dismissal of teammate Ben Duckett, hitting 189 in the evening session.
Kent’s opening goal was aided by a helpful 54 from Moeen Ali and a sublime 84 from Joe Root, and when Marnus Labuschagne flicked the ball in for a quick leg break, England were safe in the hands of captain Ben Stokes and Harry Brook, who resume unbeaten on Friday morning.
Australia were dealt another blow when opening bowler Mitchell Starc was forced off the field with a shoulder injury as he appeared to be struggling with a knee problem, and Cummins and Co. will resume the attack on Friday in search of quick wickets to re-enter contention.
Here, Mail Sport’s Richard Gibson takes you through some of the stories you may have missed from an exciting second day of the Ashes Test Four at Old Trafford.
Zak Crawley shone for England on day two with a thrilling 189 stroke at Old Trafford
Pat Cummins’ side worked in attack and were battered to the ground on a difficult second day.
Lawrence in the midst of an unlikely event in the county
The release of Dan Lawrence from the fourth England Test team to play in the LV County Championship = created an event in first-class cricket that is unlikely to be repeated again.
Lawrence’s pre-planned involvement from the start of the second day of Essex’s match against Kent at Chelmsford helped Robin Das make history as a player substituted in one game then immediately re-entered.
Earlier this week, Essex nominated the Championship debutant Das as a backup to Lawrence until the end of the first day, but the 21-year-old was parachuted back into the game on Thursday morning as a concussion replacement for leadoff batsman Nick Browne, who retired injured on his 31st night after failing to comply with medical protocols to continue.
So Das came out on the second morning alongside Alastair Cook with Essex 106 for no loss and crunched the first ball he faced to the point for four. However, he failed to add to his total before falling to Kent Indian left arm Arshdeep Singh.
Moeen second only to Marnus
England’s decision to keep Moeen Ali at the top of the order was seen as something of an extended MoHawk experiment following his voluntary switch for the second innings in their third Test win at Leeds 10 days ago.
However, such a theory disappointed the statistical evidence of the Warwickshire all-rounder’s career.
Moeen has the second highest average of any number three in the County Championship in the last 10 years.
Only his opposite in this match, Australian Marnus Labuschagne, can boast a better return than the 3,210 runs at 57.32 the 36-year-old has achieved since the start of the 2013 season.
Moeen has the second highest average of any number three in the county championship in the last 10 years, behind only Marnus Labuschagne.
English hero Cross makes history
Mail Sport columnist Kate Cross became the first woman to ring the five-minute bell before playing in a men’s test in Manchester on Thursday.
The England Cross bowler, a member of the team that drew the women’s Ashes series 8-8 earlier this week, followed fellow Lancaster player Bill Beaumont, the former England rugby union captain who provided the pre-game fight 24 hours earlier.
Lancashire and England bowler Kate Cross rang the five-minute bell, becoming the first woman to do so in a Manchester Test.
The Australian flag finally makes its appearance
The Australian flag could be seen flying alongside England’s at the Emirates Old Trafford pavilion on Thursday after its absence on the first day when the St George’s flag was combined with a British flag.
Lancashire dismissed any suggestion of a slight to the tourists, adding that only one Australian Blue Ensign was provided to them before the match and was placed at the Brian Statham end of the ground where the two teams meet.
The Lancashire Hilton hotel coup
The £500 some football fans paid for hotel rooms on this ground on the night of Manchester United’s European home game against Barcelona last season emphasized just how much money Lancashire could have raised had construction of its new Hilton facility not been delayed by Covid.
Lancashire owns the franchise for both Hilton properties, but the 100 new rooms weren’t ready for this game and won’t be open for bookings until the fall.