Archer impresses on England debut but its Australia who take control of second Ashes Test

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Archer made his England Test debut at Lord's.

Jofra Archer offered a tantalising glimpse of his Ashes potential as England attempted to bowl their way back into the second Test having been dismissed for 258 at Lord’s.

After a washout on day one, visiting captain Tim Paine made the brave call to field first in what appeared welcoming batting conditions, the first Australian captain to insert the opposition since February 2016.

The gamble largely paid off, England’s innings subsiding shortly before 6pm, but battling knocks from Rory Burns (53) and Jonny Bairstow (52) provided a foothold in the game.

Stuart Broad removed David Warner with a beauty as the tourists reached 30 for one at stumps, but Archer, England’s most eagerly anticipated debutant since Kevin Pietersen, turned in a compelling six-over cameo that hinted at plenty more to come.

He was wicketless at the close but generated a tangible electricity at the same ground where his super over helped England win the World Cup just a month ago.

His second ball in Test cricket almost flattened Cameron Bancroft’s off stump, his third topped 90mph and his 10th appeared to claim an edge that went unnoticed by everyone on the field.

The buzz around the 24-year-old masked a good day for Australia, for whom the recalled Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins took three wickets each as they preyed on a fragile top six.

The day’s play was dedicated to the Ruth Strauss Foundation, with the stands a sea of red and both teams honouring former England captain Andrew Strauss’ late wife by donning commemorative caps and shirts. A total of £382,462 was raised.

Strauss sons rang the five-minute bell and collected the mementos from the players but the sense of bonhomie and collaboration was quickly replaced by a typically hard-fought day of Ashes cricket.

Any apprehension Paine harboured about his decision evaporated midway through the second over, with Jason Roy dismissed for a brief, but torrid, duck.

Hazlewood’s first ball drew an uncertain waft of the bat, his second beat the outside edge and his third grazed the bat on the way through. Roy has just 43 runs in four innings as a Test opener and the suspicion that he may need to drop down the order to thrive is only growing.

Hazlewood was only getting started, though, reeling off three successive maidens on a consistently challenging line before nipping one back into England captain Joe Root and thumping the knee roll in front of leg stump.

Root did not challenge the lbw decision but departed reluctantly, perhaps in fear of what might unfold. Things could have deteriorated further, Burns dropped at gully on 16 and Joe Denly clattered on the helmet by a pumped up Cummins, but the pair held firm as they added another 50 runs before lunch.

Having surrendered some of their momentum Australia reset during the interval and took the next four wickets for 62. Denly was the first, taking another nasty blow on the arm before becoming Hazlewood’s third victim of the day courtesy of a thin edge.

A second reprieve for Burns, this time by Paine, allowed him to bring up a determined half-century but his luck was about to catch up with him. He fell to a memorable grab at short-leg, Bancroft staying low, springing sideways and gathering one-handed at the second attempt.

That brought Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes together at Lord’s for the first time since their game-changing partnership in the World Cup final, but there was no encore. Buttler fiddled outside off stump to give Peter Siddle his first success and Stokes fell lbw sweeping Nathan Lyon. Between them they had eked out just 25 runs and conjured a pair of soft departures.

At 138 for six the game – and possibly the series – was slipping from England’s grasp. That they did not lose their grip entirely was down to Bairstow, coming in on the back of four successive failures.

He put on 72 with Chris Woakes, driving crisply and correctly whenever invited and building up enough confidence to unveil a deft reverse sweep off Lyon.

Just before tea he had nudged England past 200 but once again Australia used the break in play to their advantage. Woakes had batted with impressive care and attention for 32 but it took only one well-directed bumper from Cummins, thudding the back of the helmet as the all-rounder ducked, to undo him.

Woakes passed a concussion test but was rattled, lasting just a couple more balls before gloving another rib-tickling delivery through to the wicketkeeper.

The barrage of bumpers continued for the rest of the innings, Archer succumbing after one flamboyant cut for four. Lyon wrapped things, bamboozling Broad before Bairstow holed out chasing late runs.

The expectations on Archer were palpable as England took the field and he came within a whisker of cleaning up Bancroft with his second ball, a whizzing, hooping inswinger, then breached 90mph with his next two.

Archer should have been toasting a first Test scalp in his second over, but nobody on the field heard the nick which UltraEdge appeared to detect as the ball skimmed Warner’s bat.

In the end it was Broad who did for the left-hander, flicking leg stump with one that tore through Warner’s defences, but Bancroft and Usman Khawaja fought through to the end.

Provided by Press Association Sports

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West Indies veteran Chris Gayle confirms he has not retired from international cricket

Sudhir Gupta 15/08/2019
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No retirement plans for the Universe Boss.

West Indies veteran Chris Gayle has confirmed that he has no intentions to retire for now following the completion of the ODI series against India on Wednesday.

Gayle struck a 41-ball 72 in the third and final ODI at Trinidad while wearing a special jersey with the number 301 on his back. It was the southpaw’s 301st ODI appearance for Windies and the extended send-off he was given by the Indian players post his dismissal sparked rumours of a potential international retirement.

The Jamaican poured cold water over those rumours after his side’s six-wicket loss and confirmed to Windies Cricket in a video that he has not announced any retirement plans.

The 39-year-old was originally due to retire from international cricket post the completion of the 2019 World Cup in England. However, he changed his mind midway through the tournament and expressed his wish to feature in the ongoing series against India.

Gayle was granted his wish by Windies Cricket with the opening batsman making full use of that chance to go past Brian Lara’s ODI run-tally and become the highest run-getter for his country in the format.

“To my knowledge, he [Gayle] has not retired,” West Indies skipper Jason Holder said on Wednesday.

“But today was an example of his career. He was entertaining, he showed presence, and that’s just what people have come to expect of Chris Gayle over the years.”

Gayle has not been picked for the upcoming two-match Test series against India although he had previously expressed his desire to play one more five-day game for West Indies.

It now remains to be seen whether the veteran batsman features in West Indies’ upcoming tour of the subcontinent in November where they are slated to take on both Afghanistan and India.

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Lower-order fights back for Sri Lanka after Ajaz Patel's five-wicket haul for New Zealand

Ashish Peter 15/08/2019
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Suranga Lakmal shone with both bat and ball on day two.

A lower-order fightback led by Niroshan Dickwella kept Sri Lanka afoot in the first Test against New Zealand at Galle after what was an evenly contested day two between both sides.

An unbeaten 66-run stand between Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal saw the hosts reach 227-7 at stumps on the second day after the Kiwis had earlier been bowled out for 249 runs in their first innings.

New Zealand started the day at 203-5 with Ross Taylor inching towards a 19th Test ton but the right-hander failed to add to his overnight score before he was caught-behind off the bowling of Lakmal.

Lakmal was in inspired mood in the morning session at Galle and the Sri Lanka seamer ran through the Kiwi tail after dismissing Taylor. Lakmal sent Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult and Ajaz Patel packing in a terrific spell with the visitors adding just 46 runs to their Day One total.

In response, Sri Lanka lost opener Lahiru Thirimanne early to the left-arm spin of Patel while Dimuth Karunaratne marched to 39 before falling prey to the same bowler.

Patel picked up his second five-wicket haul in Tests.

Patel picked up his second five-wicket haul in Tests.

Kusal Mendis and Angle Mathews put the hosts back on track with both the batsmen registering their half-centuries. Sri Lanka looked to be in command at 143-2 before Patel turned the game on its head with a flurry of wicket.

The Kiwi spinner sent dismissed Mendis and Mathews in quick succession before sending back Dhananjaya de Silva as well to bring up his second five-for in Test cricket. Boult removed Kusal Perera at the other end while William Somerville got the better of Akila Dananjaya as Sri Lanka slid to 161-7.

However, the visitors were frustrated for much of the final session at Galle with Dickwella and Lakmal leading a stubborn resistance which has reduced the lead to just 22 runs.

SCORECARD

New Zealand first innings: 249 all out

Ross Taylor: 86

Akila Dananjaya: 5-80

Suranga Lakmal: 4-29

Sri Lanka first innings: 227-7

Kusal Mendis: 53

Angelo Mathews: 50

Azaj Patel: 5-76

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