Australia held off a final-day onslaught from England to secure a draw in the second Test at Lord’s to maintain their 1-0 series lead. England had to wait an hour before they could resume their second innings on 96-4 due to more rain and, while Jos Buttler lost his wicket to Pat Cummins on 31, an unbeaten 115 from Ben Stokes in a 97-run stand alongside Jonny Bairstow ended any hopes of a Baggy Greens victory.
Captain Joe Root opted to declare on 258-5 to leave his bowlers 48 overs to try and remove Australia, who were chasing a notional target of 267. Jofra Archer quickly took the key wicket of David Warner for just five and then removed Usman Khawaja for two with the Aussies reeling on 19-2, while spinner Jack Leach took the wicket of Cameron Bancroft.
Steve Smith was unable to bat because of delayed concussion after being struck on the head by an Archer delivery on Saturday but his replacement Marnus Labuschagne frustrated the hosts before falling to Leach on 59. Matthew Wade and Tim Paine followed as Leach and Archer both took their respective third wickets of the Australia innings as the tourists were struggling on 149-6.
But with the pace bowlers removed from the equation in the final four overs due to the fading light Travis Head and Cummins survived as Australia reached stumps on 154-6. The action now moves to Headingley next week with England looking to build on this performance to level up the series in the third Test.
Leach said: “It was a special atmosphere, a bit disappointed not to get over the line but it wasn’t through lack of effort. “I feel like I wasn’t at my best but you have got to try and find a way. I have got a few things to work on. We’ve definitely had them under pressure in this game and we’ll look to make it a win at Headingley.”