Key takeaways from Day 2 of fourth Ashes 2019 Test
A sublime double century from world's number one Test batsman Steve Smith gave Australia the perfect platform in the ongoing fourth Ashes Test. Smith struck 211 to help his side declare at 497/8. England finished Day 2 at 23/1 and trail Australia by 474 runs. It was a superb day of Test dominance by the Aussies. Here's more.
This was Smith's third Ashes 2019 century in four innings so far. The magician also smashes his 26th career Test ton to equal Gary Sobers. Smith has amassed 589 runs in this series at an average of 147.25. Notably, he missed the third Test and the second innings at Lord's as well. This series has belonged to Smith and nothing can defy his charge.
England were poor all day long in the field. Smith, who resumed Day 2 on 60*, was dropped by Jofra Archer when he was batting on 65. Skipper Tim Paine (58) was dropped twice as well. Smith was also dismissed off a Jack Leach no-ball on 118. These things coupled with ordinary bowling and the injury to Ben Stokes made England suffer.
Australia have the upper hand here at Old Trafford in Manchester. They tightened the screws on England with some grit offered by Paine and Mitchell Starc (54). And then they also picked up an English wicket (Joe Denly) to keep momentum in their favor. Aussies know that they have every chance to make this position count. They have the bowling arsenal to hurt England.
Australia resumed Day 2 at 170/3 and were off the blocks at 224/5. Smith and Paine added a 145-run stand to calm the ship. Starc got into the act with a fluent fifty. This helped Australia get close to 500 runs. Pat Cummins' wicket of Denly saw the visitors capping off a superb day on the field. England have work to do.