Archer double strike lifts England victory hopes


England’s Ben Stokes in action. Photo: Reuters

LONDON: Jofra Archer removed David Warner and Usman Khawaja as England reduced Australia, chasing 267 to win, to 46 for two at tea on a compelling final day of the second Ashes test at Lord’s on Sunday.

Ben Stokes made a brilliant century and England declared on 258 for five to set up the chance of an unlikely victory in the rain-shortened match.

Archer, playing his first test, had Warner caught at third slip by Rory Burns for five, and Khawaja nicked the Barbados-born fast bowler to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for two to leave Australia reeling at 19-2.

That brought Marnus Labuschagne to the crease as test cricket’s first concussion substitute in place of Steve Smith, who was ruled out of the rest of the match after being struck by an Archer delivery on the neck during his innings of 92 on Saturday.

Labuschagne was hit on the helmet by Archer with the second delivery he faced, but he continued after receiving treatment on the field and battled to 17 not out at the interval with Cameron Bancroft on 16.

Stokes scored 115 not out, hitting three sixes and 11 fours, as the hosts added 162 runs to their overnight score to give themselves a chance of a win that would level the series at 1-1.

After resuming on 96-4 following another rain delay, Stokes and Jos Buttler dug in to take England to 157-4 at lunch.

Buttler fell for 31 to Pat Cummins after the interval, but Stokes went on the attack and brought up his seventh test century, adding 97 with Bairstow who finished unbeaten on 30.

The hosts have 35 overs left to bowl out Australia, who are bidding to win the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.



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Written by Mausam
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