England in early trouble in pursuit of big Aussie total

ADELAIDE – England stumbled, losing an early wicket, before rain forced play to be abandoned on day two of the second Ashes Test on Sunday after Australia had declared their first innings on 442 for eight.

Mitchell Starc struck in the seventh over, trapping Mark Stoneman leg before wicket for 18, to leave the tourists a shaky 29 for one when rain brought an early finish at Adelaide Oval. Alastair Cook was on 11 with James Vince yet to score in the first-ever Ashes day-night Test. Stoneman wasted a review, which only confirmed the umpire’s decision, to end a dire day for the tourists. Shaun Marsh earlier claimed his fifth Test century as Australia tightened the screws on England, making captain Joe Root pay for sending the home side in to bat.

Marsh scored a watchful and undefeated 126 off 231 balls. “There’s a good feeling in the dressing room,” England coach Trevor Bayliss said, putting a positive slant on his team’s predicament. “They’re certainly not disheartened at all. Shaun showed it’s not impossible to score runs out there. It will be up to one or two of our guys to go out and make a big score, not just 40 or 50.” Australia’s score surpassed their previous best in pink-ball Tests, 383 in the first innings of last year’s day-night match against South Africa in Adelaide.

Steve Smith called a halt to the innings shortly after the dinner break after Pat Cummins was dismissed for 44. Marsh went for quick runs ahead of the declaration, including a towering six off Stuart Broad, while Nathan Lyon also clouted a six off Craig Overton in his 10 not out. England suffered further indignity just before the dinner break. Cook and Vince collided going for the same catch off Marsh in the gully and the chance off Chris Woakes went begging.

Marsh and Tim Paine both vindicated their controversial Test recalls as Australia took firm charge. Marsh, in his eighth recall to the Australian team, backed up his 51 in Brisbane to strengthen Australia’s position. “I haven’t thought about all the incidental noise (criticism) and my selection for the team,” Marsh said. “I’ve just tried to come in and feel nice and relaxed. I’ve felt good about my game in the last three or four months. “Six months ago I wasn’t sure whether I’d be back here. I’d always dreamt of getting back in.” Wicketkeeper Paine, who received a surprise Ashes recall after being out of the Australia side for seven years, cracked 57 off 102 balls. Paine, who took a couple of painful blows on his right index finger which he shattered seven years ago, shared in an 85-run stand with Marsh before he was caught on the boundary pulling Overton.

Paine had eight pins and a metal plate inserted into the fractured finger, which caused him to lose his spot in the Test side back in 2010.

England, who lost the first Test in Brisbane by 10 wickets last week, cannot afford to lose again in Adelaide, where Australia have won the two day-night Tests against New Zealand and South Africa. England had several calls go against them on day two. Marsh had a leg before wicket decision on 29 overturned when a review showed the ball from James Anderson would have gone over the stumps. Anderson was frustrated a second time, much to the delight of the 52,000 home crowd, when a review denied him again after Paine on 24 had been given out lbw on the field.

Peter Handscomb only lasted three balls at the start of the day before he was trapped lbw playing back on his overnight score of 36 by a fired-up Stuart Broad, who gave him an animated send-off.


(OVERNIGHT: 209-4):
C Bancroft run out 10
D Warner c Bairstow b Woakes 47
U Khawaja c Vince b Anderson 53
S Smith b Overton 40
P Handscomb lbw b Broad 36
S Marsh not out 126
T Paine c Moeen b Overton 57
M Starc c Anderson b Broad 6
P Cummins c Malan b Overton 44
N Lyon not out 10
EXTRAS: (b6, lb6, w1) 13
TOTAL: (8 wkts dec; 149 overs) 442
FOW: 1-33, 2-86, 3-139, 4-161, 5-209, 6-294, 7-311, 8-410.
BOWLING: Anderson 31-5-74-1, Broad 30-11-72-2, Woakes 27-4-84-1 (1w), Overton 33-3-105-3, Moeen 24-3-79-0, Root 4-0-16-0.
A Cook not out 11
M Stoneman lbw b Starc 18
J Vince not out 0
TOTAL: (1 wckt; 9.1 overs) 29
FOW: 1-29
BOWLING: Starc 5-1-13-1, Hazlewood 4-2-16-0, Cummins 0.1-0-0-0.
TOSS: England
UMPIRES: Aleem Dar (PAK), Chris Gaffaney (NZL)
TV UMPIRE: Marais Erasmus (RSA)
MATCH REFEREE: Richie Richardson (WIS)

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