Ashes 2023, Test 3: The see-saw battle between England and Australia continued in Day 2

The see-saw battle between England and Australia continued in Day 2 of the third Test of The Ashes at Headingley, and ended with the day finely poised and with either side looking likely to get the result.

The day started with England in some trouble, as they looked in danger of conceding a big first innings lead despite having bowled out Australia for 263 in the first innings.

However, the man who steps up for England in such crucial moments did so once again – Benjamin Andrew Stokes played a blinder, despite often being on one leg.

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His counterattacking blinder took him to well-made 80 but it also ensured that England cut the deficit to Australia’s first innings score.

But once Stokes fell, the lead was still with Australia – although by a very slim margin of 26 runs, meaning the hosts were incredibly still in the game.

For Australia, the key was to see out the new ball. However, they were struck an early blow when David Warner was dismissed by – who else – Stuart Broad.

This marked the 17th time that Broad had gotten rid of Warner in Tests, and the southpaw could only wear a wry smile when walking back to the pavilion.

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Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja then knuckled down with the intent to see out the new ball, and they were largely successful in doing so.

They put together a 57-run stand for the second wicket that only came to an end when he went for a slog sweep off Moeen Ali and found Harry Brook in the deep.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the match was to follow thereafter, as Steve Smith was also dismissed by Ali – going for an unconventional slog, he only picked out Ben Duckett at mid-wicket.

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Perhaps sensing how big a wicket this was, Smith was given a send-off by Jonny Bairstow and chose to turn around and return fire. But the momentum was now very much with England.

This became even more evident when Chris Woakes got one to nip away from Khawaja and kiss his edge, with Bairstow doing the rest.

Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh, the hero of the first innings for Australia, then did well to counter the English blitz while putting on 25 runs for the fifth wicket.

How they fare in the first hour of Day 4 will be key to Australia’s chances of rescuing this Test.

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