The Aussies are on top in the fifth Ashes Test but they’ll be regretting a surprising decision not to put more pressure on England.
Welcome to news.com.au’s coverage of Day 2 of the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart.
After being sent in to bat on a tricky pitch at Blundstone Arena, Australia recovered from 3/12 to post an imposing total of 303 to put all the pressure back on England.
A sensational counterattacking century from Travis Head, as well as solid knocks from Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green, shifted the momentum back in Australia’s favour and snuffed out hope for England.
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England lost early wickets and is in the midst of yet another batting collapse with five wickets as Pat Cummins runs riot.
Rain could be a factor on Day 2, with some showers predicted for Hobart on Saturday.
England collapsing again
Another match, another collapse for England. After appearing to steady the ship, Dawid Malan, Joe Root and Ben Stokes were all dismissed in quick succession in the second session.
Pat Cummins strangled Malan down the leg side for 25 and trapped Root lbw for 34 — the English captain opted not to review.
Stokes came and went for four after he lofted a drive off Mitchell Starc into the safe hands of Nathan Lyon.
Aussies left to rue non-review calls
The Aussies will be regretting the decision not to use their reviews when they should have, as England’s batters were given an extra life.
The entire Australian team went up for a strong appeal, thinking Dawid Malan had edged a Cameron Green delivery through to Alex Carey.
It was given not out and Pat Cummins opted not to send go to the third umpire to review the decision.
Replays showed that was the wrong call, with snicko showing a clear spike when the ball passed Malan’s bat.
Australian coach Justin Langer’s exasperated reaction upon seeing the replay said it all.
Commentators and viewers were surprised Australia decided not to use one of the reviews.
“Tell you what, I reckon that’s out,” Brett Lee said on Fox Cricket.
“His bat is a mile away from his pad.”
Brendon Julian added: “It looks like he hit. Couldn’t have been anything else.”
Sports broadcaster Daniel Garb tweeted: “Malan knicked that. Green got him. Poor call not to review.”
Journalist Andrew Faulker said: “Smashed it! Weird how Carey wasn’t sure.”
It came after Australia earlier chose not to review an apparent edge from opener Rory Burns.
Crawley departs, Australia on top
Zak Crawley looked good for his knock off 18 off 21 balls before he edged a Pat Cummins ball onto his pad, which popped up to Travis Head at short leg.
England opener’s shocker continues
Rory Burns just keeps finding ways to get out. After being brought back into the side for the last Test, the opener’s disastrous Ashes tour continued when he was run out for a duck in England’s first innings in Hobart.
His opening partner Zak Crawley took off for a quick but realistic single but Burns was too slow to get to the other end, and was just short of the crease when Marnus Labuschagne threw down the stumps with an excellent direct hit.
Australia all out for 303 after tail wags
Australia was bowled out for 303 following some excellent batting from Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland, who ensured Australia pushed its total past 300.
Lyon was particularly impressive, finishing with with 31 runs off 27 balls.
Stuart Broad roasted for bizarre outburst
Fast bowlers are a rare species and England’s Stuart Broad made that clear for all to see with a bizarre complaint.
The veteran seamer was coming in to bowl to Mitchell Starc but backed out of his run-up at the last second and was clearly bothered by something in his eyeline.
Pulling up at the crease, Broad shouted to no one in particular: “Stop moving the robot!”.
He was referring to Fox Cricket’s roving camera, which was behind the boundary rope at the wicketkeeper’s end, some 75 metres away.
Usually, it’s the batters who are pulling away at the last moment because they are complaining about a problem with the sight screen and bemused fans were quick to roast Broad for his antics.
Sports reporter Mark Gottlieb tweeted: “A bowler pulling out of his run up because there’s movement behind the batsman (in this case a camera on a robot) is utterly ridiculous.
“Just bowl the ball. Are you going to pull out of the delivery if a fan gets up and goes for a beer? This isn’t tennis or golf. Stop being so bloody precious.”
Carey gone as Lyon goes big
Alex Carey was the next man to go for 24 after he inside edged a regulation ball from Chris Woakes on to his stumps.
The highlight for Australia in the first hour has been the Nathan Lyon’s rearguard knock.
The GOAT smacked England paceman Mark Wood for three sixes, one of which went out of the ground.
Starc and Cummins depart early on Day 2
England has made an early breakthrough on Day in Hobart, with Mark Wood claiming the wicket of Mitchell Starc for three.
After an uneventful start to the day’s play, Starc attempted to pull a bouncer from Wood, but could only top edge it to Rory Burns at square leg.
A few overs later, Wood dismissed Pat Cummins in almost identical fashion with a bouncer that the Aussie captain skied straight to Zak Crawley for two.
Why Ricky Ponting isn’t laughing at ‘embarrassed’ Marnus
When Marnus Labuschagne was clean bowled by Stuart Broad on Day 1, it seemed everyone in Australia was laughing — except one man.
The Aussie No. 3 exposed all his stumps in an attempt to hit Broad to the leg side, but he somehow managed to trip over his own feet and land flat on his face while offering no protection whatsoever to his stumps.
The sight of Labuschagne lying on the pitch with the zing bails flying amused his teammates Steve Smith and Pat Cummins but was enough to make one of Australia’s greatest ever batters wince.
Ricky Ponting was sympathetic to Labuschagne and said he will be more “embarrassed” about the nature of his dismissal than getting out.
“Unfortunately when he went to move his feet, he missed his spikes and missed the outside of his boot and sort of stretched out further than he wanted to and got into a position where it was impossible for him to actually hit the ball,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“He’ll be embarrassed about getting out but having been there before — I’ve ended up on my face in a Test match — picking yourself up off the wicket to get off the ground is not a place where you want to be.”
The former Australian skipper also fell flat on his face after being bowled in the twilight of his career.
Facing legendary South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis in Adelaide in 2012, Ponting completely missed the ball and lost his footing — falling forward on to the pitch as the ball cannoned into his stumps.
Many pundits cite that dismissal as the moment they knew Ponting had lost his touch at the top level. He retired from Test cricket later in the series.
Ponting said he genuinely felt for Labuschagne, but was relieved his co-commentators haven’t yet dug his similarly ugly dismissal out from the archives for a stitch up.
“You saw (Steve) Smithy and (Pat) Cummins having a bit of a laugh about it,” he said.
“I don’t think Marnus will be having much of a laugh about it tonight when he sees it probably for the 100th time.
“I haven’t laughed at it yet. I’m not going to laugh at it yet either. I’ve actually been waiting all day to get stitched up in comms about it because when it happened a few people waiting for me to acknowledge that it happened.
“I didn’t say anything but I’ve just been waiting for a replay to pop up at some stage. It hasn’t yet. I’m not to bring it up anymore but yeah, you don’t see it too often.
“Trust me, the shot at your dignity when you get out in the first place and when you’ve got to actually get up and walk off the field, it’s not a fun place to be.”
Originally published as Live: Australia on top despite ‘weird’ DRS non-decisions