July 21, 2023

Ashes 2023 LIVE updates: Warner blows another start, Australia sink further into fourth Test hole

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Judgment from Marnus!

Gee, that was ever so close to taking the top of Marnus Labuschagne’s off stump. Mark Wood cannot believe it didn’t hit.

In the end, you have to say that’s an excellent leave by Labuschagne – but it’s very close for comfort.


Wood gets his chance

Mark Wood is into the attack. I’m surprised they did not use him to target Steve Smith when he was first at the crease.

England have set the short-ball trap for Marnus Labuschagne.

They have a fielder at leg slip, and men in the deep at fine leg and the boundary at square.

Smith certainly won’t be batting out of his crease to Wood’s thunderbolts.

Things happen when Wood is in the action. Let’s see how the next 20-30 minutes play out.


Smith warming up

This is the Steve Smith we know. Full on the pads from Chris Woakes, and he whips the ball confidently off his pads through mid-wicket for four. It’s a gorgeous shot, almost as beautiful to watch as Mark Waugh off the pads.


WATCH: Labuschagne pulls confidently

After a torrid welcome from Mark Wood before lunch, Marnus Labuschagne has warmed into his work. Australia’s No.3 is searching for a big score toend what has been a disappointing run this series.

Labuschagne is not out of form but keeps getting out once he is set.


WATCH: No luck for Warner

When you’re having a good run, balls like this can run to fine leg for four. Not so for David Warner, whose run of outs continues.


Stokes not happy

There’s a bit of tension here. Not between England and Australia, but the hosts and the umpires.

We just saw Ben Stokes shaking his head in disapproval. He wanted to bring James Anderson into the attack for a crack at Steve Smith but was told by the umpires the veteran, who had been off the field for 13 minutes, must cool his jets for another eight minutes.


Smith survives scare at slip

An extremely close shave for Steve Smith, who came perilously close to being caught at first slip for a second-ball duck.

Chris Woakes found his outside edge but Joe Root couldn’t wrap his fingers under the ball. Judging by his muted reaction, he was not confident at all that it had carried.

Video umpire Kumar Dharmasena had a good look at that but was certain the ball did not carry.


WICKET – Warner bowled

Just when you thought David Warner was on song, he’s got himself into a bind and chopped on.

He had showed a lot of conviction with his attacking play and defence, but Chris Woakes scrambled his radar. He had Warner fishing outside off stump the previous ball, then got himself into all sorts playing late at a ball outside off stump.

What was he trying to do? He wasn’t leaving, defending or attacking. Just a nothing shot. His indecisiveness brought him undone. It must be so frustrating for him, because he looked in good touch.

He should survive for The Oval after scores of 32 and 28, but he’s squandered two starts. How costly will this be?


Grubber alert

There are gremlins in the pitch, and Stuart Broad’s found the area. He’s almost crept one under Marnus Labuschagne.

Josh Hazlewood dismissed Joe Root with a similar delivery yesterday. Unfortunately for Broad, this one didn’t pitch in line with the stumps, or else it may have been good night, Marnus.


Five for Warner

James Anderson has gifted David Warner four runs. I’ve got no idea where he was trying to throw that ball. It went straight across the pitch through to the cover boundary for a five for Warner. No fielder would be backing up in that part of the ground.

Anderson apologises, but Stuart Broad is not pleased at all. They’ll have a laugh about it after stumps.

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