England’s Zak Crawley delivered a jaw-dropping performance on the second day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, leaving Australia stunned and England with a glimmer of hope for an Ashes comeback.
Crawley’s sensational knock of 189 not out was the highest score by an England batter in a home Ashes Test in 26 years, reigniting England’s chances of leveling the series at 2-2. His 182-ball innings was filled with exquisite strokes, including 21 boundaries and three massive sixes, propelling England to an impressive total of 384-4 and a valuable lead of 67.
Partnering with Moeen Ali, who played a knock of 54 at number three, Crawley stitched together a crucial partnership of 121 runs. Later, he went on to form a double-century partnership with Joe Root, who unfortunately fell short of a century by just 16 runs, scoring an impressive 84.
Despite Crawley and Root falling to deliveries that kept low, Harry Brook and Ben Stokes held the fort, building an unbroken stand of 33 runs, setting the stage for an attacking start on the following morning.
It just the right day for the home team as James Anderson struck early in the morning by removing Pat Cummins with the first ball, setting the tone for Australia’s innings. Chris Woakes shone brightly, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul in an Ashes Test, skillfully dismissing Australia for 317.
Now, the series is coming to an end and faced with signs of unfair weather, England knew they needed to build a substantial lead quickly to have enough time to force a result. To everyone’s astonishment, they did just that, exceeding all expectations and setting themselves up with a golden opportunity to level the series at 2-2. The possibility of a thrilling Ashes decider at The Oval now looms, adding even more excitement to the mix.
England’s incredible performance on this exhilarating second day has injected new life into the series, leaving fans eagerly awaiting the remaining action and the team hopeful of turning things around in their favour.