Mitchell Starc did his best to rally Australia on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham yesterday, but they still had a mountain to climb just to get back on level terms with England.
Left-arm fast bowler Starc took six for 111, including a spell of three for five in 12 balls that saw him dismiss century-maker Joe Root, but England still made 391-9 declared, a huge first-innings lead of 331, after they had skittled Australia out for just 60 on Thursday.
At lunch, Australia were 14 without loss in their second innings — still 317 runs behind — as England eyed a win that would put them 3-1 up in the five-match series and see them regain the Ashes.
Stuart Broad, smashing through the 300-wicket barrier, had initially put England in an incredibly strong position after they won the toss on Thursday by taking a Test-best eight for 15, also the best Ashes figures by a fast bowler, as Australia were skittled out in 111 balls — the shortest completed first innings in Test history.
Root strengthened their iron grip on the game as England reached stumps on Thursday on 274-4 to lead by 214 runs.
The Yorkshireman, who put on 173 for the fourth wicket with county colleague Jonny Bairstow (74), resumed on 124 not out.
Nightwatchman Mark Wood was unbeaten on 2 as play got underway yesterday beneath gray skies in Nottingham.
Wood, belying his status, cut and off-drove and even square-drove left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson for fours worthy of a top-order batsman.
Root, by contrast, played and missed at several deliveries before edging Starc to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill for 130.
Root batted for nearly five hours, facing 176 balls, including 19 fours.
It was his second century of the series after he made 134 in England’s 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff, Wales.
Both Wood, after an entertaining 32-ball 28 featuring five fours, and Jos Buttler (12) were undone by Starc yorkers.
Starc’s final figures surpassed the 25-year-old’s previous Test best of six for 154 against South Africa in Perth, Australia, in 2012, but Moeen Ali took England to 350 when he drove Nathan Lyon back over the off-spinner’s head for six.
Josh Hazlewood’s wide gave England a lead of 300.
Broad (24 not out) then got in on the act, driving Hazlewood for four and pulling him for six on his Nottinghamshire home ground.
Ali carved Johnson over point for four as the bowler conceded 100 runs in the innings, but next ball Johnson had his first wicket of the match when Ali (38) was superbly caught one-handed by a diving Steven Smith at second slip.
Australia’s stunning dismissal for 60 on Thursday prompted incredulous headlines in the Australian newspapers yesterday along with calls for Australian citizenship to be stripped from the entire team.
“What a disgrace,” was the front-page headline on Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, above a picture of embattled Australia captain Michael Clarke.
“We’ll let you choose the headline: Embarrassed, Demolished, Humiliated,” the tabloid said on its back page.
The brevity of Australia’s innings prompted derision on social media, with Antony Green, an election analyst with state broadcaster ABC, noting the entire ball-by-ball summary could fit in the 140-character limit of a tweet on Twitter.
The Australian newspaper described the Nottingham nightmare as a “Trent Bridge Horror Show.”
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop was asked whether the team should have their citizenship revoked in the wake of the rout.
“Yes, that has crossed my mind,” she quipped.
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017