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Lord’s Test Remains In The Balance

Lord’s Test Remains In The Balance

England will take a 104-run lead into the final day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s with the result remaining firmly in the balance. The hosts, who will be looking to level the series after losing the first Test at Edgbaston earlier this month, will resume their second innings on 96-4 with Ben Stokes (16) and Jos Buttler (10) at the crease.

Australia had earlier fell eight runs short of England’s first innings total of 258 after resuming the day on 80-4. Steve Smith (92) was once again the pick of the Australia batsmen and he enjoyed a feisty battle with England bowler Jofra Archer, which led to the former Australia captain being forced to leave the field when he was on 80 after he was twice struck by deliveries from the paceman.

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However, after undergoing checks, Smith was allowed to return to the crease and he added 12 more runs to his score before being dismissed by Chris Woakes. England’s second innings started in disastrous fashion as Jason Roy (2) and captain Joe Root (0) once again failed to deliver with the bat, although the presence of Stokes and Buttler at the crease means the Test could still go either way.

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Woakes, who took three wickets during Australia’s innings, is expecting a tense final day, but he is hopeful England will be able to come out on top. “I still think it is an evenly-matched game,” Woakes told Sky Sports.

“I think we are pleased not to be batting last on that surface but we still need enough of a lead to feel safe when we try to bowl Australia out. “f they get two early wickets they will feel on top but we have two good batsmen in the middle and we feel we can build and get on top. It’s evenly balanced.”

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