England dominates Day 2 in bid to tie Ashes series
LONDON (AP) — England pacer Jofra Archer took 6-62 as Australia was dismissed for 225 on Day 2 of the fifth Ashes test, with star batter Steve Smith out for 80 in his lowest score of the series.
England had a first-innings lead of 69 — after scoring 294 when it was put into bat in a gamble by Australia captain Tim Paine — and reached stumps Friday on 9-0 in its second innings to lead by 78 runs overall.
Smith was trapped leg before wicket by a straight delivery from Chris Woakes and has now made 751 runs from his six innings this series. Marnus Labuschagne hit 48 before he was out lbw to Archer, who took the first three wickets of the innings. Sam Curran also proved a significant threat with 3-46 in his first appearance of the series.
Earlier, England resumed on 271-8 but was quickly all out at The Oval with Mitch Marsh taking 5-46 on his first appearance of the series. Jos Buttler (70) was bowled by Pat Cummins (3-84) and Marsh did the same to Jack Leach (21) for the last wicket.
Australia has already retained the urn after winning the fourth test at Old Trafford last week to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Smith took his sequence of 50-plus scores against England to 10 in a row, but this time he was unable to fully make up for the mediocrity of his teammates.
England openers Rory Burns and Joe Denly survived a tricky 20 minutes before stumps, but both had scares in Josh Hazlewood’s final over of the day.
Denly, who became a father for the second time overnight, was badly dropped by Marcus Harris at slip and Burns was given lbw to the last ball, only for DRS to chalk it from the records.
The second six-for of Archer’s England career was the result of some hostile and highly effective pace bowling, and took his series haul to 22 at an average of 17.27.
Curran fully justified his recall for a first Ashes cap, calling to mind his man-of-the-series performances against India last summer and raising question marks over his recent absence.
England began the day by adding 23 for its last two wickets.
The turnaround brought David Warner to the crease, inviting England to heap more misery on the Australian opener. He arrived on the back of three consecutive ducks - marked by a trio of England fans in appropriate fancy dress - and scored five runs before being sent on his way after Archer found the outside edge and Joe Root successfully overturned a not out verdict.
There was no doubt over the contact when Archer claimed Harris, a thick edge well picked up by Ben Stokes at second slip to bring in Smith at 14-2.
Labuschagne and Smith went on to share a stand of 69 either side of lunch.
Archer finally parted them, first pinging Labuschagne on the elbow then capping a fiery afternoon spell by trapping him lbw.
Smith was only really troubled when Jonny Bairstow’s arrival at the stumps led to him diving awkwardly to beat a throw that was instead collected at the non-striker’s end.
Smiles were exchanged with the seemingly mischievous England wicketkeeper, Smith dusted himself down and passed 50 by carving Leach for six.
Matthew Wade became Curran’s first Ashes wicket before tea to leave Australia 147-4, and from there the home side seized the initiative.
Marsh yielded just 17 before he turned Archer tamely to fine leg, while Curran bested Smith on 66. Flashing hard he sent a high chance towards Root at first slip but, possibly distracted by Stokes, the England skipper could not get a clean hand on it.
Undeterred, Curran settled for working away at the other end. Paine managed just one before feathering through to Bairstow and, feeding on the sudden rush of momentum, Curran made it two in two balls when a hooping yorker thumped Cummins in front.
The unsuccessful hat trick ball to Peter Siddle was straight but overpitched.
England still needed Smith, though, and got him when Woakes hit the knee-roll with a stump-to-stump offering. Woakes was far from his best for the majority of the day, but one ball was more than enough to weigh against the remainder of his 10-over stint.
There were still two wickets to get and Archer made sure they were his, smashing Nathan Lyon’s off stump before Burns claimed Siddle with a stunning one-handed catch taking off at gully.