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The Ashes 2023: England v Australia, first Test, day two – live | Ashes 2023

The Ashes 2023: England v Australia, first Test, day two – live | Ashes 2023
Key events

Enjoying our Blake chat today. Here’s Will Wroth.


“There is a school of thought that, given his very radical social and religious convictions, Blake’s ‘satanic mills’ were more the established church, top-down religious institutions, and the conservatizing moral and political influence they enjoyed, than the actual factories, for all their social and economic disruption. Perhaps it is a fitting anthem for Bazball after all – militating against ingrained, conservative attitudes towards what is right, and how things should be done…?”

Can see it now. Ben Stokes mulls a Declaration (on the Rights of Man).

Andrew James is checking in, and out. “I’m about to get on a plane from Tokyo to Melbourne, which means an enforced 10 hours until I can see the result of the day. Here’s hoping there’s no more batting carnage, Smith bags a double-hundred with Head on 115*.”

Hope you were in the air before that lbw.

Lunch – Australia 78 for 3

An absolutely critical session for England. They will be buzzing as they walk off the field. Australia’s two biggest guns have been spiked, in Labuschagne and Smith, while Warner popped himself back in Broad’s pocket. The home side’s lead is still 315, and somehow this came in a session where Harry Brook had a trundle.


A mass of work to do for Australia: Khawaja and Head have both gone big in recent times, but both of them will need to repeat that today.

Updated at 08.10 EDT

31st over: Australia 78-3 (Khawaja 40, Head 8) You can defy convention, but you can’t resist bringing on a part-time spinner for one over before lunch. Joe Root has the ball, sending it down outside Khawaja’s off stump for the opener to ignore. Stokes performatively brings himself into leg slip for one ball, to no effect, and that is lunch.

30th over: Australia 78-3 (Khawaja 40, Head 8) I lied, the umpires have decided we’ll get more overs in. They started the session five minutes late. Head gets down low and slaps four through cover, then Moeen beats him twice in a row! The crowd groaning as the ball goes past the edge. Head is flummoxed, he goes back and lets the next ball hit him on the pad, angling down leg side, left alone.

29th over: Australia 74-3 (Khawaja 40, Head 4) Nicely driven straight by Khawaja from Stokes, down the ground for a couple more runs.


28th over: Australia 72-3 (Khawaja 38, Head 4) Into it straight away is Travis Head! Down on one knee and clubs his sweep shot over backward square. Moeen finishes his work for the session with 0 for 17 off six overs.

27th over: Australia 67-3 (Khawaja 37) Last ball of the over, after two runs from it, is the biggest wicket of all.

WICKET! Smith lbw Stokes 16, Australia 67-3

It had to be Stokes! It just had to be. Smith gets squared up, ends up with both pads together as the ball smashes into his knee roll. Stokes roars and throws out both arms in an appeal. Umpire Erasmus waits a long, long time, then at last the finger goes up. Smith reviews immediately, because of course he does. On a bouncier pitch that would have been going over, but on this flatter one it’s three red lights, hitting the off bail flush. Smith is gone! A massive moment just before the lunch break. The ball didn’t do too much, it went on straight at the stumps, but Smith got his feet and timing tangled and missed it – the thing he never did in 2019.

Ben Stokes of England appeals successfully for the wicket of Steve Smith of Australia. Photograph: Shutterstock
Australia's Steven Smith walks after losing his wicket lbw off the bowling of England's Ben Stokes during the second day of the First Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
Smith walks after losing his wicket. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters

Updated at 08.30 EDT

26th over: Australia 65-2 (Khawaja 36, Smith 16) No run from the Moeen over. Smith plays at every ball but doesn’t do anything with them.

25th over: Australia 65-2 (Khawaja 36, Smith 16) Ben Stokes is having a bowl! It’s been a long time coming, but he’s giving it a go. To celebrate, in scenes that will surprise everyone, England succeed in lobbying to get the ball changed. The umpires swap it over. They do call him for a no-ball though. Rusty beard, rusty bowling. Two slips only for Smith now. Cover has been included. So of course he plays off the hip to backward square for a run. Stokes looks to be walking back to his mark freely. Khawaja leaves. Two slips for him as well, with a catching cover and catching midwicket.


@GeoffLemonSport @guardian_sport I can think of no more thrilling atmosphere in British sport than when Broad is having one of his special spells, in a crucial match, backed by a fervent home crowd. Brilliant theatre.

— John Dalby (@snoopjohnd) June 17, 2023

24th over: Australia 63-2 (Khawaja 36, Smith 15) Smacked off the back foot through cover, and a brilliant diving stop saves a boundary. Smith has to content himself with nudging Moeen to leg for a single.

23rd over: Australia 62-2 (Khawaja 36, Smith 14) Stroked by Smith down the ground, lovely off drive from Robinson’s fuller pitch. Broad chases and slides to save to the delight of the crowd.

Robin Walters: “Isn’t the whole point of ‘And did those feet’ that it is saying “‘this country’s a bit crap, let’s make it a place worth living’? That seems to me to exactly fit what you look for in a national anthem.”

Quite agree. That would be the good kind of patriotism, which does exist even if it’s derided by the plastic kind. I’d also say that is not what’s reflected by triumphalist renditions at sporting events. But hey, just one opinion.


22nd over: Australia 59-2 (Khawaja 36, Smith 11) Across the stumps, shovel to leg… the Smith method works against off spin as much as outswing. Gets a run past the short leg. Khawaja tries to do likewise but finds midwicket. So he skips down, tries to loft, and is nearly caught. Stokes loses the ball in the backdrop! Khawaja isn’t to the pitch, hits it too early and so it goes flat towards mid off. In the end it goes to one side of Stokes, and maybe a bit too high to catch, but he can’t even attempt the catch because he doesn’t know where the ball is. Just holds his arms out helplessly. Moeen follows with a ball the keeps low, like Lyon did a few times yesterday, that Khawaja jams out.

21st over: Australia 54-2 (Khawaja 32, Smith 10) More shuffling across for Smith, blocking Robinson with a straight bat, then playing the pull to a rare short ball. One run. That brings Khawaja on strike, and there’s that pull to the length ball again! Played that three times today, nailed all of them. This is already Khawaja’s fourth highest score in England.

If you’re confused by the Smith technique, this might help a bit. Turn down the dial on the headline by about 200% before reading.

20th over: Australia 49-2 (Khawaja 28, Smith 9) Moeen turns the arm over, as the sun comes out for the first time today through high patchy cloud. Khawaja blocks away, then decides he’s had enough and skips down the track, driving stylishly through extra cover for four. Two fielders there for the shot and he goes right between them.

19th over: Australia 45-2 (Khawaja 24, Smith 9) Nice bowling from Robinson, getting that movement away, but Smith gets across so far that he can leave anything outside his pads without concern. He’s soaked up 33 balls now.


18th over: Australia 45-2 (Khawaja 24, Smith 9) Moeen Ali to bowl from the City End. Drops short a couple of times, and Khawaja is going too hard and miscuing. One is a top edge landing safely at 45 for two runs, the other gets none as he underedges hard into the ground to the off side. Interesting.

17th over: Australia 43-2 (Khawaja 22, Smith 9) Ollie Robinson gets over the shock of being bumped behind Brook in the bowling order and begins his day. A bit of swing, making Smith play to the off side more than leg. Smith adds two runs with a straight drive.

Andy Flintoff (not that one, he clarifies) writes: “It’s not that the words of Jerusalem are patriotic, it’s more that the music (by C Hubert H Parry) sounds much more triumphant than the usual dirgey way that God Save The King/Queen is played.”

For sure, not hard to exceed an anthem that rivals Australia’s for drabness. But that’s the point and the problem – the poem despairs of what the nation has become, the despoliation of the earth for a few to profit, in a way that is even more markedly relevant now. But somehow people went, “Well it says England in it,” and decided it’s a patriot’s hymn.

16th over: Australia 41-2 (Khawaja 22, Smith 7) Anderson resumes after his hydration interval, bowls three more balls that Khawaja blocks, and an unusual over comes to an end in this unusual Test match.


We’re taking drinks halfway through an over because Khawaja wanted to trim a loose bit off his bat and called for the runner. That’s a new one.

15th over: Australia 40-2 (Khawaja 22, Smith 6) It’s been an hour without any Stokes-induced madness, so he decides to introduce… Harry Brook to the attack. Five overs from Broad, including two in two, and he gets replaced by a middle-order bat who runs in off a long approach and bowls a twisty frog-footed Virat Kohli kind of stuff that is notionally medium pace but comes out at around 65 miles an hour and seems to loop as though he has an off-spinner’s grip. Smith clips one to midwicket on the bounce, which gets the crowd excited, but more impressive is Bairstow’s take about two metres down the leg side to some proper club-level dross. Smith gets a run to fine leg.

14th over: Australia 39-2 (Khawaja 22, Smith 5) Anderson ticking away. A couple of singles to the leg side, Smith continues to quiet things down after the Broad intervention.

“Totally agree with your reservations about the singing of Jerusalem. It kicks off with a series of contrived questions, the answer to all of which is no,” writes Freddie Simon. “I want to make a plea for poor Dom Bess – best haircuts in the county championship and a pretty decent/lucky international record. He was broken by pre-revolutionary England and if any spinner deserves a second chance, it’s Dom Bess. Such a fan of The Final Word and your OBOing. Thrilled to see you on duty today. All the best from Berlin.”

Thanks Freddie. I should clarify, I’m an admirer of William Blake. The lavishness of language, and that hallucinatory vision burns with the brightness of the true mystics. Less on board with shoehorning his great work into an attempt at a patriotic symbol, especially when the meaning of the text is anything but.


And yes… Simply Dom Bess, better than all the rest? Could have done alright in the current environment.

13th over: Australia 37-2 (Khawaja 21, Smith 4) Very happy to take his time, Smith is almost deadbatting the ball, playing as softly as he can at Broad to bat out a maiden.

12th over: Australia 37-2 (Khawaja 21, Smith 4) With a very open stance, Smith places a full ball from Anderson to midwicket for one run. Three slips, backward point, short cover, mid off for Khawaja… who whacks another pull shot for four! Now, that’s just rude. It wasn’t even slightly short, he’s hit that off a length outside the off stump, angled across him. Not a high-percentage shot, I would suggest. Cue joke about Usball.

Just another quiet little Ashes over for Stuart Broad, then…

11th over: Australia 32-2 (Khawaja 17, Smith 3) Had Stuart Broad got that third wicket, it would have been one of the best hat-tricks ever by calibre of player. Instead he bowls one of the worst hat-trick balls ever, wide down the leg side. Smith half does the splits and watches it pass by. Plays the next similarly, then shovels a ball out through midwicket, making the ageing legs of Moeen Ali chase back to the Hollies Stand boundary to great encouragement to keep the scoring to three.


WICKET! Labuschagne c Bairstow b Broad 0, Australia 29-2

STUART BROAD IS ON A HAT-TRICK. First ball for Marnus Labuschagne, who starts his very slow trudge off the field. Outside off stump, a bit of movement away, a fiddle at the line from Labuschagne when it wasn’t needed, and Jonny Bairstow is off balance but throws out his right glove, folds his knee under his body to get down low enough, and takes it one-handed above the turf.

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne caught out by England’s Jonny Bairstow during day two of the first Ashes test match at Edgbaston.
Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne caught out by England’s Jonny Bairstow. Photograph: David Davies/PA
England's Stuart Broad celebrates with Joe Root after taking the wicket of Australia's Marnus Labuschagne during day two of the first Ashes test match at Edgbaston.
Broad celebrates with Joe Root after taking Labuschagne’s wicket. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
Marcus Labuschagne of Australia reacts after being dismissed by Stuart Broad of England during day two of the first Ashes test match at Edgbaston.
Whilst Labuschagne looks dejected as he trudges back to the pavilion. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Updated at 07.25 EDT


Geoff Lemon at Edgbaston (now) and Tanya Aldred (later)

Published: 2023-06-17 13:18:05


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