By India Today Sports Desk: Australia are in a commanding position at the end of Day 4, having claimed four wickets with England needing 257 more runs to win the second Test of the five-match Ashes 2023 series at Lord’s.
Ashes 2023: Full Coverage
Starting the day at 130 for 2, Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja added 57 more runs on the board before England pacer Stuart Broad provided England their first breakthrough of the day after Khawaja top-edged a short-ball straight at substitute fielder Matthew Potts, and departed after scoring 77 runs off 187 deliveries.
Smith soon followed Khawaja back to the pavilion after scoring a 62-ball 34 as fast-bowler Josh Tongue picked his second wicket of the innings. Travis Head couldn’t move the scoreboard much and was dismissed after Joe Root took a phenomenal catch to become the leading outfield catcher for England in Test cricket.
Cameron Green and Alex Carey stuck around for a 42-run stand before Ollie Robinson dismissed both the batters in quick succession. Green scored 18 runs off 67 balls, while Carey hit 21 runs off 73 deliveries. Australia captain Pat Cummins scored 11 runs off 29 balls, before Broad got rid of him in the 96th over, which was soon followed by Josh Hazlewood’s dismissal by Ben Stokes.
Then, to the surprise of many, an injured Nathan Lyon walked in to bat for the Aussies. The off-spinner formed a 15-run partnership with Mitchell Starc and even hit Broad for a boundary, before being caught by Stokes in the 102nd over. Lyon scored four runs off 13 balls and received a rousing reception by the crowd and his teammates upon his dismissal.
Australia started the final innings of the Lord’s Test in great fashion, with Starc getting rid of England opener Zak Crawley in the 3rd over. In his very next over, Starc cleaned up Ollie Pope to leave England reeling at 13 for 2. Following two early dismissals, Joe Root and Harry Brook formed a 28-run stand before Cummins dismissed both the batters in the same over.
Root departed after scoring 18 runs off 35 balls, while Brook was cleaned up by Cummins after scoring four runs. However, England pulled the game back with Ben Duckett and Stokes stitching a 69-run stand to take the hosts to 114 for 4 at the end of Day 4.
Just a few overs before stumps, Australia thought they had picked another wicket in the form of Duckett when Starc caught the opener at fine-leg. However, upon further review, the umpires ruled Duckett not out after they found that Starc had not placed his fingers under the ball while completing the catch. Duckett remained unbeaten on 50 off 67 balls, while Stokes chipped in with a 66-ball 29.
The final day of the second Ashes 2023 Test promises to be a fascinating affair, with England needing 257 runs to win and Australia six wickets to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
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