From bad to worse for Australia at Lord’s

By Ben Horne,

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    Did Michael Clarke make the wrong decision in sending England in to bat first at Edgbaston? Yes, yes he did. (image: AAP)

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    Australia were given a demoralising lesson in Test match batting by Joe Root and England at Lord’s on day three of the second Test.

    It was death by a 1000 cuts for the Australians and another disgraceful third umpiring decision added insult to injury.

    England were slow and boring for much of the day, diligently grinding Australia into the dirt to be 5-333 at stumps.

    But how Australia’s batsmen wish they could spend enough time in the middle to be considered slow and boring.

    Root scored a magnificent 178no to anchor England’s second innings, which started day three at 3-31.

    Only four teams in the history of Test cricket have successfully chased targets greater than 400 and already the mark for Australia stands at 566 heading into day four.

    If Australia lose this Test, which seems inevitable, it will extend their losing streak to six, just one more defeat away from their worst-ever run.

    Australia’s bowlers battled hard, after being put in an impossible position by the batting collapse on Friday.

    But the white flag was raised late in the day when Australia refused to take the new ball on offer and seemed content at going through the motions as Root started hitting for the fences.

    Spinners Steve Smith (1-65) and Ashton Agar (0-89) bowled every over of the final hour.

    There are few excuses for Australia’s dire position but from the opening two Tests, the tourists have copped the worst two decisions.

    Ian Bell was given a ridiculous reprieve when he was clearly caught by Smith at gully off Ryan Harris in the 69th over.

    England were 4-140 at the time and the in-form batsman of the series on just three.

    Smith claimed the low catch immediately and, when umpire Marais Erasmus went upstairs, replays showed the fieldsman’s fingers were between ball and grass.

    However, third umpire Tony Hill inexplicably ruled not out, bringing Smith’s integrity into question.

    Stuart Broad whacked a ball to first slip at Trent Bridge and wasn’t given and now Bell defied the evidence of replays.

    He went on to make 74, before he threw his wicket away to ironically gift Smith his fourth wicket of the match in the 99th over.

    Root and Bell put on a punishing 153-run stand.

    Once the partnership reached 50, the pair smashed their next 100 from just 94 balls.

    England hammered 162 in the final session, but still no declaration.

    The 23-year-old had earlier combined for a patient 99-run stand with nightwatchman Tim Bresnan (38) and finished with an unbeaten 51-run stand with Jonny Bairstow (11no).

    Australia were left to rue a botched wicketkeeping effort from Brad Haddin on Friday that gave Root a life when he was on eight.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • July 21st 2013 @ 4:20am
      Chris said | July 21st 2013 @ 4:20am | ! Report

      Third umpires tend to give those not out all the time. Don’t whinge please, it’s happened to everyone at different times, and the match situation hardly made it critical. The on field umpires should decide, not send it upstairs. TV doesn’t help, and never has done. Probably out, I agree. Should have been given I agree. Nothing new in it though, and it’ll carry on till the ICC mandate the on field umpires to decide. They don’t because they have a safety net, and if you had umpire led reviews the same would happen on all lbws too.

      • July 21st 2013 @ 8:28am
        Internal Fixation said | July 21st 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Benefit of doubt eh? Whinging eh? Sounds like Agar’s stumping all over again and there was a lot of bleating about that from certain fans on this site. All ok if it benefits England though.

    • July 21st 2013 @ 4:42am
      Mervuk said | July 21st 2013 @ 4:42am | ! Report

      Slow and boring for much of the day…. Sorry we don’t get skittled for 120 for your enjoyment

      • July 21st 2013 @ 9:03am
        Gezza said | July 21st 2013 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        I believe the author was making the point that slow and boring is actually good Test cricket, of which the tourists are incapable of.

    • July 21st 2013 @ 7:12am
      swerve said | July 21st 2013 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      300 in a day never boring. Pretty impressive final session where England pretty much hammered Australia. Well done Joe Root. Lamenting poor decisons for the next 8 tests is going to get tired Ben and sounds like sour grapes. We all know the poor decisions England WILL get in this series will be largely ignored.
      “But still no declaration” fantastic decision by Cook too, England will win a huge psychological advantage by making Australia bowl again for the first hour of play on day 4 before sending them in to bat prior to lunch. Let Root get his double hundred at Lords, then ………………………. 2-0

    • July 21st 2013 @ 7:25am
      Darwin Stubbie said | July 21st 2013 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      ‘Stuart Broad whacked a ball to first slip at Trent Bridge….’ … Or edged it off the statue with the large gloves on …

      By the end of this series Clarke will have also been standing at 2nd slip …

    • July 21st 2013 @ 10:07am
      Simoc said | July 21st 2013 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      That’s nonsense Ben. I’ve fielded beside the fairest guy on the planet who claimed a catch which our whole team reckon he picked up on the half volley, only a metre from my eyes. The umpires and both batsman (from the other team) agreed he caught it.
      It has to be an umpires decision on those ones.
      The worst thing I saw was Agar losing the loop in his bowling, and just pushing them through.

    • July 21st 2013 @ 12:40pm
      DMC said | July 21st 2013 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

      When a kiwi such as myself starts feeling sorry for the Aussie cricket team, things must be really really bad.

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