Crisps stop play, batting without Steve Smith along with bails seeing it just like a beach ball. Here’s the pick of the activity from Old Trafford…
Steve Smith headed an Australia retrieval to the side following concussion onto a day among the fourth Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford on his own return.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
Stuart Broad dismissed David Warner (0) for the fifth time in seven innings and also removed his opening partner Marcus Harris (13) as Australia tumbled to 28-2 after electing to bat at cold Manchester.
However, Smith (60no) – again after missing England’s Ben Stokes-inspired, series-levelling triumph in the third Test at Headingley – took his runs tally for the show to 438 in a mean of 146 since the tourists closed per day by which just 44 overs were bowled on 170-3.
No additional proof that Smith had been seeing it just like a beach ball had been needed after the batsman softly swatted at an energized to get four throughout the leg-side. This was an odd sight but the shot with which he attained a record eighth consecutive Ashes fifty at a row has been astounding.
Smith, in the words of Ian Botham, had to dive to attain a complete, broad delivery which was meters off stump but held his upper body shape well enough to drill it to four to the drive – falling onto his rear knee in the process.
“He looked just like a drunk,” observed David Gower,”however he middled it.” Proving, in the procedure, that so long as you keep your eye your standing is of secondary importance.
The shot came at a crazy day session in which Australia batted with no bails about the stumps – once they were blown off by the wind, the bails being removed by the umpires. It required several 25 minutes to umpire Rob Bailey to discover some bails – or rather the initial bails with some screws drilled to the end of those.
Interruptions were brought by the wind as crap – mostly crisp packets – brought drama to a stop by swirling to and from the batsmen’s eyeline. Judging by Stuart Broad’s face, the waits got on his nerves.
Did England miss a trick by not planning for the jugular at the afternoon session? The build-up into the Test was dominated by the potential competition between Jofra Archer and Smith however, to the shock of a number of our pundits, the paceman did not appear to bend his back and go out if the coming batsman came at 28-2 – the rate rifle always registering in the very low 80mph bracket. What is more, only seven balls bowled he knocked over at Lord’s, forcing him to miss the third Test.
“It is possibly the first time that Joe Root has to be a little bit tough using Archer,” said Nasser Hussain, requiring a few tough love, before recognizing that conditions were tricky. “I understand you’re cold, I know you are stiff, it has been a long summer, but shake it up!’ Make out to him that this is the most significant spell”
Nas continued:”Smith could have spent the past two weeks thinking about this comeback against Archer, who has peppered him. I completely comprehend he was tired by the time Smith came in and so you just take him from the assault to give him another burst prior to dinner, but burst never came.”
Ricky Ponting:”For me, England have looked flat. However, I do not need to discount how difficult these states have been for filming. 1 thing you can’t see on the display is just how windy it has been – and a stop, start type of affair. But there wasn’t that fire that we would usually expect to see, coming quite a lengthy break from Leeds to here.”
Michael Holding:”Smith was allowed to go out there now and pretty much settle in and by the time Archer got straight back into the assault, Smith was pretty much depended. Hit you can never really work out what is happening in their mind If people get. It was strange because Archer hadn’t fated his five overs at extreme pace.”
David Lloyd:”Where is Warne sat?” Since the umpteenth empty crisp packet interrupts the day session, blown throughout the ground by the wind.
View day two of the fourth Ashes Test live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports The Ashes September 5, from 10am on Thursday.
You can also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on our rolling site on skysports.com along with the Sky Sports app.

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