England’s quest for dominance in the Ashes series witnessed a sensational display on the second day at Old Trafford. Zak Crawley’s 189 run innings dismantled Australia’s bowling attack and propelled England to a formidable total of 384 for four in reply to Australia’s 317 all out.
Crawley’s brilliant knock, comprising 21 fours and three sixes off 182 balls, formed the foundation of England’s resounding success. He forged crucial partnerships with Moeen Ali (54) and Joe Root (84), amassing stands of 121 and 206 runs, respectively.
The relentless run-rate of 5.33 per over kept Australia on the back foot, leaving their bowlers in disarray and their brains struggling to cope with England’s onslaught. As the day concluded, England established a commanding overnight lead of 67 runs, setting the stage for a thrilling battle in the Ashes.
In a display of cricketing brilliance, Zak Crawley’s breathtaking innings left the cricketing world in awe. Facing the reigning Test world champions and under the pressure of a 2-1 Ashes series deficit, Crawley’s 189 runs from just 182 balls was no less than a heroic deed that once again proved how destructive he can be once he gets going.
With this being his fourth Test century, Crawley’s innings lived up to the hype that followed his breakthrough 267 against Pakistan three years ago. Although it started with some streaky shots, his innings evolved into a spectacle of wonder over time. He reached his half-century in 67 balls and followed it with a majestic century just 26 balls later, leaving spectators mesmerized by his shot-making skills.
Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, two influential figures in Crawley’s career, have continually praised his abilities, and this innings vindicated their faith in him. Swatting bowlers all around the wicket, Crawley showcased the potential that has been so enthusiastically supported by the cricketing community.
As the dust settled on the second day at Old Trafford, England had taken charge, posting an imposing 384 for four in response to Australia’s 317 all out. With Crawley’s heroics setting the tone, England held a commanding overnight lead of 67 runs, keeping the pressure on the visitors in this Ashes series.
The pitch is changing at Old Trafford. There are signs of uneven bounce emerged as Josh Hazlewood bowled Joe Root, ending his typically smooth knock of 81 runs. Ben Stokes, remaining unbeaten on 24, displayed great skill in handling a delivery that reared up alarmingly late.
England’s morning objective was to dismiss the final two Australian wickets, and it only took one ball to achieve that. Pat Cummins, Australia’s captain, was caught by Jimmy Anderson’s outswinger, delighting the local fans even before 11 am.
Later, it was Chris Woakes who stole the spotlight, securing his first five-wicket haul in an Ashes Test match. Although there was a false start due to a no-ball, Woakes eventually found his form and deservedly earned his success. Despite the hiccup, his legal deliveries were remarkable, contributing significantly to England’s strong performance on the field.
England’s resilience was on full display as Moeen Ali stepped up, reaching a significant milestone of 3,000 Test runs and 200 wickets. He crafted a remarkable innings, keeping Root away from the new ball and earning praise for the highest score by a No 3 in the series.
However, the spotlight ultimately belonged to Crawley, who dominated the afternoon session, scoring an impressive 106 out of 178 runs. His outstanding performance included smashing the ineffective Mitch Marsh for six, eliciting gasps of approval from the Old Trafford crowd.
Amid Australia’s ragged bowling, concerns about Starc’s shoulder injury lingered. As the day ended, the tourists were left hoping for rain clouds to roll in, sparing them from the prospect of a tough showdown in south London.