Australia win despite Buttler resistance

Australia win despite Buttler resistance


Second Ashes Test, Adelaide (day five of five)
Australia 473-9-dec (Labuschange 103, Warner 95, Smith 93) & 230-9 dec
England 236 (Malan 80) & 192 (Richardson 5-42)
Australia won by 275 runs

England’s resistance was eventually broken as Australia completed a 275-run victory in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Needing to bat out the day for a draw with six wickets left, England defied expectation to take the game into the final session.

Jos Buttler, who should have been caught for a duck, survived 207 balls for 26, raising slim hopes of the most unlikely of England escapes, only to fall in incredible fashion in the second over of the night session.

He saw off 31.2 overs with Chris Woakes, who made 44, and another 14.2 with Ollie Robinson but stood on his stumps when going back to a shorter ball from Jhye Richardson.

James Anderson was last man out, caught at gully for Richardson’s fifth wicket, with 20.5 overs left. England were 192 all out in 113.1 overs.

It leaves their hopes of a first Ashes series win in Australia since 2010-11 fading, as the tour moves to Melbourne for the third Test, which begins at 23:30 GMT on 25 December.

England have never come from 2-0 down to win the Ashes in the series’ 139-year history.

England fight but too late

England’s final-day exploits, by Buttler in particular, were valiant, but the result was still an emphatic Australian victory.

Buttler had hidden all the attacking instincts which make him one of the best limited-overs players in the world, only to fall bizarrely to end of his second-longest Test innings.

Ollie Pope was caught at slip off Mitchell Starc for four in the second full over of the day, at which point there were fears England could go within a session.

Ultimately their fate was sealed on day three when they served up their latest dismal batting collapse.

The defeat, England’s 11th in their past 12 Tests in Australia, was expected since then, and is particularly damaging when viewed in the wider picture.

This day-night Test was seen helpful to England’s cause, the floodlight conditions and pink ball supposed to help their seam and swing bowlers, and Australia were without captain Pat Cummins and fellow pace bowler Josh Hazlewood.

Only once has a team come from 2-0 down to win the Ashes – Australia in 1936-37, and that was with legendary batter Don Bradman in their side.

The next Test is at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, the one venue England have avoided defeat in their winless run down under, but their fans will wonder why this batting grit did not come sooner.

More to follow.

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