Labuschagne saves Oz blushes as Smith concussion overshadows draw - GulfToday

Labuschagne saves Oz blushes as Smith concussion overshadows draw

Labuschagne saves Oz blushes as Smith concussion overshadows draw

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne plays a shot against England during their second Ashes Test on Sunday. Reuters

The second Test between England and Australia ended in a draw at Lord’s on Sunday.

Australia, set an unlikely 267 to win in a minimum of 48 overs after England captain Joe Root’s declaration, finished on 154-6.

A draw always looked likely in a match that saw five whole sessions lost to rain and Australia’s Steve Smith ruled out with concussion on Sunday after being hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer during his innings of 92 on Saturday.

Four wickets after tea gave England hope of what would have been a stunning win. Ashes-holders Australia, bidding for their first Test series win away to England in 18 years, remain 1-0 up in the five-match campaign following their 251-run victory at Edgbaston last week. The third Test at Headingley starts on Thursday.

Earlier, Archer took two wickets and struck Test cricket’s first concussion substitute, Marnus Labuschagne on the grille of his helmet as England pushed for an unlikely series-levelling victory in the second Ashes clash at Lord’s on Sunday.

Australia were 46-2 in their second innings at tea on the final day of the second Test. That left them needing 221 more runs in a minimum of 35 overs to reach an unlikely victory target of 267.

Test debutant Archer also struck Steve Smith on the neck with a rapid bouncer during the star batsman’s 92 on Saturday.

Smith was passed fit to resume his innings on Saturday but further tests on Sunday sidelined him with concussion.

Now there are doubts over Smith’s availability for the third Test at Headingley starting Thursday, with an Australia spokesman saying the “short turnaround is not in his favour”.

Australia, bidding for their first Ashes campaign triumph on English soil in 18 years, lead the five-match series 1-0 after a 251-run win at Edgbaston last week.

In that match, former captain Smith marked his first Test since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa with superb innings of 144 and 142.

Under new protocols introduced for the inaugural World Test Championship, Australia could replace Smith with a full, batting substitute in Labuschagne.

World Cup-winning fast bowler Archer also took an impressive 2-59 in 29 overs on Saturday and the 24-year-old Sussex quick was in the wickets again on Sunday with two for two in seven balls.

David Warner’s miserable series continued when the left-hander fell for five -- his fourth single-figure in as many innings -- when he edged Archer to Rory Burns in the slips.

And Australia were 19-2 when Usman Khawaja was caught behind off a fine ball just outside off stump for two. Archer’s first ball to Labuschagne, a bouncer that sailed over the batsman’s head, was called wide.

His second, timed at 91.6 mph, was much straighter and Labuschagne could not get out of the way. The batsman required several minutes of on-field attention before resuming his innings and later bravely drove Archer down the ground for a well-struck four.

Earlier, Ben Stokes, missed twice on Saturday and the beneficiary of an Australia decision not to review a rejected lbw appeal, scored 115 not out before captain Joe Root declared England’s second innings on 258-5.

The left-handed batsman slog-swept off-spinner Nathan Lyon for two sixes in as many deliveries on the way to a 160-ball century, his seventh in Tests and second against Australia.

Stokes also hoisted paceman Peter Siddle for a six into the Grandstand before Root eventually called a halt. His innings included 10 fours.

Jos Buttler (31) gave Stokes good support in a fifth-wicket stand of 90 before hooking Pat Cummins to long leg.

Although the sun was shining by the tea interval, rain -- which had already washed out five sessions in this match, delayed the start of Sunday’s play by over an hour and so made a draw more likely.


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Zimbabwe trounce Afghanistan to win AD Test

A century from skipper Sean Williams coupled with destructive pace bowling from Blessing Muzarabani and Victor Nyauchi led Zimbabwe to a rapid 10-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Williams hit 105 to guide

That left Zimbabwe to score 17 runs which they got without any loss to end the match inside two days.

Afghanistan were bowled out for 131 in their first innings.

Lanky pacer Muzarabani finished with 2-14 -- six wickets in the match -- while his new ball partner Nyauchi took 3-30, also getting six in the match.

Afghanistan were facing an innings defeat at 81-7 but opener Ibrahim Zadran fought hard during his 76 -- his second half century -- and added 48 for the eighth wicket with Amir Hamza who remained 21 not out.

Zadran batted for three hours and hit ten boundaries.

This becomes Afghanistan’s third defeat in five Tests since gaining status to play the five-day format in 2017.

The writing was very much on the wall when Nyauchi had Abdul Malik in the second over for a duck for batsman’s pair on debut.

Nyauchi then had Rahmat Shah (zero) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (four) while Muzarabani had Munir Ahmad (one) and rival skipper Asghar Afghan (14) to leave Zimbabwe rocking at 47-6.

Nyuaci’s previous best of 3-69 was on his debut against Sri Lanka at Harare last year.

Earlier, resuming at 133-5, Zimbabwe added 117 more runs to gain crucial lead.

Williams, who resumed on 54 lost his overnight partner Ryan Burl for eight but then found an able partner in Regis Chakabva (44) as the duo added 75 for the seventh wicket.

Williams completed his third Test century, and second in successive Tests, soon after lunch with a single to square leg.

But he fell while flicking spinner Amir Hamza straight to mid-wicket.

Williams had 10 boundaries while Chakabva smashed a six and six boundaries.

Left-arm spinner Hamza finished with career-best figures of 6-75 -- his second five-for in Tests after his 5-74 against West Indies at Lucknow in 2019. The second Test starts on March 10, also in Abu Dhabi.


Afghanistan first innings 131

Zimbabwe 1st innings (overnight 133-5)

S Williams c Hashmatullah b Hamza 105

R Burl lbw b Zadran 8

R Chakabva c Malik b Zahir 44

D Tiripano c Zadran b Zahir 4

B Muzarabani not out 12

V Nyauchi b Hamza 0

Total: (overs 72; all out) 250

Bowling: Ahmadzai 17.1-2-48-1 (1w), Hamza 25-3-75-6, Zahir 19-0-81-2, Wasi 8.5-0-23-0 (1nb), Zadran 2-0-13-1,

Afghanistan 2nd innings

I Zadran c Chakabva b Tiripano 76

A Malik c Chakabva b Nyauchi 0

M Ahmad lbw b Muzarabani 1

R Shah lbw b Nyauchi 0

H Shahidi c Madhevere b Nyauchi 4

A Afghan b Muzarabani 14

A Wasi b Burl 9

A Hamza not out 21

Y Ahmadzai c Williams b Tiripano 0

Z Khan c Nyauchi b Tiripano 0

Total: (overs 45.3; all out) 135

Bowling: Muzarabani 8-4-14-2, Nyauchi 7-1-30-3 (5w), Williams 6-0-28-1, Tripinao 9.3-2-23-3, Burl 7-0-13-1, Raza 4-0-16-0, Madhevere 4-1-6-0

Zimbabwe 2nd innings

P Masvaure not out 5

K Kasuza not out 11

TOTAL (overs 3.2, for no loss) 17

Bowling: Hamza 2-0-11-0, Ahmadzai 1.2-0-5-0

Result: Zimbabwe win by ten wickets

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