England vs Australia – The 2019 Ashes Story Continues
England will be hoping to seize the lead in the 2019 Ashes at Old Trafford on Wednesday by winning their fourth Test against Australia. So far, cricket fans watching the series have been treated to plenty of gripping action and both teams still have everything to play for. Here’s what’s happened to date.
The Ashes 2019 – The First Two Test Matches
England were the favourites coming into the series – after all, Australia haven’t won an Ashes series on UK soil in 18 years and the home nation’s confidence should have been high following their recent ICC Cricket World Cup championship victory. There were some naysayers, however, with some experts wondering whether England had had long enough to recover after winning the sport’s most coveted trophy. What’s more, Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft, and David Warner were set to return to Test cricket for the first time since they were suspended for their parts in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, boosting Aussie fans’ hopes of victory.
When the first Test got underway at Edgbaston, it initially looked as if those hopes were about to be dashed. England began strongly, with their opponents slumping to 122-8, but the Aussies weren’t going to go down without a fight. The loss of Jimmy Anderson due to a calf injury part way through the first day marked a change of fortunes for the hosts and Steve Smith racked up a century, putting the Aussies back on track. Australia went from strength to strength as the Test progressed, while England suffered a batting collapse, and the visitors eventually triumphed by 251 runs.
The hosts did manage to unnerve the Aussies in the second Test, which took place at Lord’s, largely thanks to a superb performance by Jofra Archer and a century from Ben Stokes. Steve Smith was also forced to withdraw, after sustaining a concussion. Despite England’s efforts, however, Australia managed to hold on and the Test ended in a draw.
The Third Test – A Match that England Will Never Forget
England went into the third Test knowing that they had to win in order to keep their dreams of winning the famous cricket trophy alive. Another excellent performance by Jofra Archer on the first day saw Australia collapse at 179 all out, but England followed up with a miserable batting display, which led to them trailing the Aussies by 283 runs at the end of the second day. Worse was to come the following morning and, by lunchtime, Australia’s lead stood at 358, leaving the hosts facing the most challenging run chase in their Test event history.
By the end of the day, England had reduced the deficit to 203, but they got off to a poor start on day four, and the win seemed be slipping out of reach. However, against all odds, they managed to pull themselves back from the brink of defeat. The miracle came courtesy of Ben Stokes, who somehow managed to hit 135 not out, enabling England to beat Australia by a wicket and head into the fourth Test on equal terms with them.
Both sets of fans will therefore be on tenterhooks as the fourth Test gets underway, particularly as Steve Smith will be returning to action. Could his presence reinvigorate the Australian team or will England thrill the home fans again?
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