England pulls off a draw, managed to survive a potential white wash
Well, England survives a potential white wash, managed a draw after 5th day
No one quite really anticipated that, but the England team pulled a draw and survived a potential white wash in the ongoing Ashes. Credit goes to how the middle order batsmen and tailenders batted against the Aussie pacers and spin wizard Nathan Lyon. The match was stretched till the last bowl of the match where the vice-captain of the team and a batting legend Steve Smith bowled a short bowl to Jimmy Anderson to which the England legend managed to defend it and with that Australia’s dream of white washing England in their backyard was crunched and put to bed.
The fight and resistance shown by Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow in the middle overs deserves a lot of appreciation. The duo inspired the England team to survive this test match as Ben Stokes scored 60 runs while Bairstow scored 41 after losing his wicket to Boland. Zak Crawley, the opener who was not part of the England team from the first match made his return in the 3rd performed brilliantly and was the lone warrior for England in the top order. The opener scored 77 runs and gave England the perfect start that they needed. Only if someone supported him in the top order, England could have even eyed for the win. Specially when they have the likes of Bairstow, Buller and Stokes in the middle order.
The man of the match had to go to Usman Khawaja who scored a twin century after making his return to the Australian team after three long years. Technically gifted Khawaja was called up after Travis Head was ruled out of the series after suffering from an injury. Khawaja scored 137 in the first innings and 101 not out in the second innings to literally help Australia put up a decent score on board. Otherwise, England might have even won their first game in this year’s Ashes.
The bowlers undoubtedly had a very good game at Sydney Cricket Ground. Stuart Broad picked up a fifer in the first innings while Jack Leach picked four in the second innings. The Aussie pacer Scott Boland, who was not even part of the Aussie squad and was called after Jos Hazlewood was ruled out of an injury picked up 7 wickets in this test and will challenge for a permanent spot in the team in the coming times. A lot of eyes will be on this 32-year-old pacer from Melbourne.
Irrespective of what’s going on in England cricket, Joe Root and his boys will look at this test match and appreciate what they have done. The Aussie captain Pat Cummins was on hat-trick after the pacer dismissed Jos Buttler and Mark Wood in consecutive deliveries. The victory looked inevitable for the Kangaroos but a lot of drama was still left. Because of bad light, the umpires asked Australia to only use spinners and the captain gave the bowl to Steve Smith who took the important wicket of Jack Leach and then the Kangaroos had 12 bowls to dismiss Broad and Anderson which they couldn’t.
This drama and tension are the real beauty of test cricket. Even in the era of hard-hitting and t20 cricket, this is the kind of match that real cricket fans look forward to. Last year Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin pulled off a magical draw in Sydney and this year the Englishmen managed to do so. It looks like Sydney is becoming a perfect destination for test cricket.
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