Crisps stop play, batting without bails and Steve Smith watching it like a beach ball. Here’s the pick of the action from Old Trafford…
Steve Smith directed an Australia recovery to the side following concussion onto a blustery and rain-hit day among the fourth Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
Stuart Broad disregarded David Warner (0) for the fifth time in seven innings and removed his opening partner Marcus Harris (13) since Australia tumbled to 28-2 after electing to bat in cold Manchester.
But Smith (60no) – rear after missing England’s Ben Stokes-inspired, series-levelling triumph in the next Test at Headingley – obtained his conducts tally for the series to 438 at an average of 146 since the tourists closed per day by which only 44 overs were bowled on 170-3.
No evidence that Smith saw it just like a beach ball has been required following the batsman swatted at an inflatable throughout the leg-side for four. It was an unusual sight but the shot with which he attained a record eighth consecutive Ashes fifty at a row was all the more astonishing.
Smith, in the words of Ian Botham, needed to dive to attain a full, broad delivery which was meters off stump but held his upper body shape enough to drill it for four to the driveway – falling on his rear knee in the procedure.
“He seemed like a drunk,” celebrated David Gower,”but he middled it.” Proving, in the procedure, that so long as you keep your eye that your place is of significance.
The weird shot came in a crazy day session where Australia batted on the stumps with no bails – the bails being removed by the umpires after they were blown off by the wind. It took several 25 minutes to discover some heavy bails – or rather the original bails with some screws drilled to the end of them.
The sharp wind brought further interruptions as crap – mostly packs – brought play by swirling to and from the batsmen’s eyeline. Inspired by the face of Stuart Broad, the delays got on his nerves.
Did England miss a trick by not going for the jugular in the afternoon session? The build-up to the Test was dominated by the possible contest between Jofra Archer and Smith however, to the shock of lots of our pundits, the paceman didn’t seem to flex his back and then go out when the returning batsman came at 28-2 – the rate gun consistently registering at the very low 80mph bracket. What is more, only seven balls bowled at the man he knocked over at Lord’s, forcing him to miss the next Test at Headingley.
“It is maybe the first time that Joe Root needs to be a tiny bit tough using Archer,” said Nasser Hussain, requiring some difficult love, before acknowledging that conditions were tricky. “I understand you are cold, I understand you’re stiff, it’s been a long summer, but turn it up!’ Make him out that this is definitely the most important spell.”
Nas continued:”Smith would have spent the previous two weeks considering this comeback against Archer, that has peppered him. I completely comprehend he was tired by the time Smith came in and so you just take him from the assault to give him another burst before lunch, but that burst never came.”
Ricky Ponting:”For me, England have appeared flat. However, I really don’t wish to discount how difficult those states have been for filming. 1 thing you can not see on the display is exactly how windy it has been – and also a stop, begin type of event. However there was not that fire that we’d usually expect to see, so coming off quite a very lengthy break from Leeds to here”
Michael Holding:”Smith has been permitted to go out there now and pretty much settle in and by the time Archer got straight back into the attack, Smith was pretty much depended. Struck you can work out exactly what’s currently happening in their mind when people get. It was strange because Archer had not fated his five overs at intense speed”
David Lloyd:”Who’s Warne sat?” As the umpteenth empty crisp packet interrupts the day session.
See day two of the fourth Ashes Test reside on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports The Ashes from 10am on Thursday, September 5.
You can also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips onto our rolling blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.
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