Ben Stokes stunned after Nathan Lyon’s brilliant catch sends him packing.
England’s misery with the bat in the ongoing Ashes continued on the second day of the fifth Test. The visitors endured yet another middle-order collapse, with Ben Stokes being the latest to fall courtesy of a brilliant catch from Nathan Lyon.
Stokes’ dismissal came in the final delivery bowled by Mitchell Starc in the 25th over of the England innings. Playing a short delivery from Starc, Stokes rocked back to punch the delivery off the back foot. The shot deserved four runs but it could only go as far as Lyon at point as the veteran off-spinner dived to his left to complete a stunning catch.
Watch Nathan Lyon’s catch here:
Lyon’s catch ended Stokes’ stay at the crease for an 11-ball 4, ensuring England slipped further in their pursuit of the 303 runs posted by the home side in the first innings.
Stokes’ dismissal couldn’t have come at a worse time for England as they were already grappling with the back-to-back dismissals of Dawid Malan and skipper Joe Root at the time.
England endure another batting collapse after a 50+ stand between Malan and Root
After having lost the opening duo of Rory Burns and Zak Crawley with the score of 29, Malan and Root batted out close to 13 overs on either side of the dinner break to lend some stability to the team’s batting effort.
However, Malan (25 off 64 deliveries) once again fell against the run of play after having done all the hard work courtesy of a leg-side strangle off a Cummins delivery. Malan’s dismissal was soon followed by the prized scalp of Root, who once again fell to his nemesis, Pat Cummins.
The Australian machine got one to nip back into the Englishman to beat the inside edge of Root’s bat and trap him plumb in front.
Stokes’ dismissal to Starc meant England went from being 78/2 in 21.4 overs to 85/5 at the end of the 25th over.
Since then, Ollie Pope and Sam Billings, who earned a maiden call-up to the Test team following an injury to Jos Buttler in the last Test, have taken the score past the 100-run mark with some cracking shots.
However, just as it looked like the duo were rebuilding the innings, Scott Boland got rid of Pope for 14 to leave the visitors six down for 114.