Ben Stokes’ heroics in vain as Australia go 2-0 up in Ashes 2023

Tags: The Ashes 2023, England vs Australia, 2nd Test at London, Jun 28-Jul 02, 2023, Australia, England

Published on: Jul 03, 2023

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England captain Ben Stokes scored a brilliant 155, but could not guide his side to victory in the second Ashes 2023 Test against Australia at Lord’s on Sunday, July 2. The left-hander struck nine fours and as many sixes in a belligerent knock to give England hopes of chasing down 371. However, the hosts could not stand up to the challenge after losing their captain and finished on 327 all-out.

England resumed their second innings on 114 /4, with Ben Duckett unbeaten on 50 and Stokes on 29. They were at ease in the first hour and Duckett had a chance to make up for missing out on a hundred in the first innings. It wasn’t to be again as he was dismissed for 83. The left-hander nicked a short ball down leg and was brilliantly caught by Alex Carey.

Controversy followed as Jonny Bairstow (10) was stumped after he wandered out of his crease and Carey hit the stumps. The third umpire sent the England keeper-batter on his way. Stokes went absolutely berserk after Bairstow’s exit and raced to his hundred by clubbing Cameron Green for a four and three consecutive sixes.

He could have been out more than once. Pat Cummins dropped a return catch on 77 when Stokes struck one back at him. Having completed his ton, Stokes mistimed a big hit off Josh Hazlewood, but the usually safe Steve Smith put it down at deep backward square. Stokes hit a few more sixes to reach a well-deserved 150.

The left-hander’s valiant effort came to an end in disappointing fashion as he top-edged a short ball from Hazlewood. The stroke had no power at all and Carey took a simple catch.

The end came quickly for England after their captain’s exit. Ollie Robinson was out for 1, miscuing a hook off Cummins, Smith taking the catch this time. Stuart Broad’s (11) hung around for 36 balls. But once Stokes was dismissed, he too gave up and miscued one to fine leg off Hazlewood to fine leg.

Josh Tongue showed some semblance of resistance. He scored 19 off 26 and was the last man out, bowled by quick delivery from Mitchell Starc. England have only a few days to regroup before the third Test begins at Headingley on July 6.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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