Wickets and a COVID scare grabbed the headlines on Day 2 of the 2021 Boxing Day Test. 13 wickets fell on the day as Australia lay the platform for an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Australia resumed their innings with their overnight pair of Marcus Harris and Nathan Lyon. Ollie Robinson struck quick with the wicket of the night watchman. The England bowlers ensured an eventful session with the dismissals of the deadly duo of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.
Marcus Harris stood tall and registered his second-highest Test score. The under-fire opener scored a gritty 76 off 189 deliveries before James Anderson scalped his wicket. The veteran pacer bowled a memorable spell in the first session and finished with 4 wickets.
Australia’s lower order stretched the first innings score to 267, finishing with a lead of 82 runs.
With only 12 overs remaining in the day, England hoped to see off the duration. But, the Australian bowlers breathed fire and ran in hard for an invigorating final hour of play.
The visitors’ crumbling opening conundrum withstood after Crawley departed after scoring just 5. Mitchell Starc, steaming in, trapped Dawid Malan for a first-ball duck to be on a hat-trick.
The left-arm speedster missed out on his third wicket in a row with skipper Koe Root narrowly evading an edge. An inspiring bowling change by Cummins saw Scott Boland come into the attack. The debutant picked up 2 wickets in the over to send back Haseeb Hameed and night watchman Jack Leach. Ben Stokes and Joe Root saw off the last over to end the day on a dismal 31-4.
Australia have a lead of 51 runs and there is a high chance that Australia could wrap up the series tomorrow itself.
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