Crisps stop play, batting without bails along with Steve Smith seeing it just like a beach ball. Here is the selection of the activity out of Old Trafford…
Steve Smith directed an Australia retrieval to the side following concussion to a windy and rain-hit day one of the fourth Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford on his return.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
Stuart Broad dismissed David Warner (0) for the fifth time in seven innings and removed his opening partner Marcus Harris (13) as Australia tumbled to 28-2 after opting to bat in chilly Manchester.
But Smith (60no) – again after missing England’s Ben Stokes-inspired, series-levelling triumph in the third Test at Headingley – took his runs tally for the show to 438 in a mean of 146 as the tourists closed per day by which just 44 overs were bowled on 170-3.
No evidence that Smith had been seeing it was needed following the batsman swatted an inflatable for four through the leg-side. It was an odd sight but the shooter by which he reached a record eighth successive Ashes fifty at a row was all the more astonishing.
Smith, at the words of Ian Botham, needed to dive to achieve a full, broad delivery which has been acres outside off stump but held his upper body shape well enough to drill it for four to the drive – collapsing on his back knee in the procedure.
“He seemed like a drunk,” observed David Gower,”but he middled it” Proving, in the procedure, that so long as you keep your eye on the ball that your position is of secondary significance.
The shot came in a crazy day session where Australia batted on the stumps with no bails – the bails being removed by the umpires when they were blown off by the wind. It required several 25 minutes to get some heavy bails – or rather the first bails drilled into the end of them.
Interruptions were brought by the wind as rubbish – principally packs that were crisp – brought drama . Inspired by the face of Stuart Broad, his nerves were got directly on by the delays.
Can England miss a trick? The build-up to the Test was dominated by the potential competition between Jofra Archer and Smith however, to the surprise of many of our pundits, the paceman did not appear to bend his back and then go out if the coming batsman came at 28-2 – the speed rifle always registering at the minimal 80mph bracket. What is more, only seven balls bowled he pumped over at Lord’s, forcing him to miss the third Test at Headingley.
“It is maybe the first time which Joe Root has to be a bit tough with Archer,” said Nasser Hussain, demanding some difficult love, before acknowledging that conditions were catchy. “I know you’re cold, I know you are stiff, it’s been a very long summer, but shake it up!’ Make him out this is definitely the most important spell”
Nas continued:”Smith could have spent the last two weeks thinking about this comeback against Archer, who has peppered him. I totally understand he was drained by the time Smith came and so you take him out of the attack to provide him a second burst prior to lunch, but burst never arrived.”
Ricky Ponting:”For me, England have appeared flat. But I do not want to discount how hard those states have been for bowling. One thing you can not see on the display is exactly how it’s been and a stop, start sort of affair. But there was not that fire which we’d usually expect to see, even coming 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 into the attack, Smith was pretty much depended. Hit you can never quite work out what’s happening in their thoughts If people get. It was strange because Archer had not bowled his five overs at extreme speed”
David Lloyd:”Who’s Warne sat?” Since the umpteenth empty crisp packet interrupts the afternoon session, blown across the floor by the end.
View day two of the fourth Ashes Test reside on Sky Sports The Ashes and Sky Sports Main Event September 5, from 10am on Thursday.
You could even follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on our rolling blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports program.
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