‘Should be ashamed’: England explodes

 

England was on top of the world after running through the Australian batting line-up on day one of the third Ashes Test, but nobody could have predicted just how dramatic the change in fortunes would be less than 24 hours later.

The Aussies could count themselves slightly unlucky being knocked over for 179 in bowler-friendly conditions under grey clouds only to turn up on day two greeted by blue skies and sunshine when it was England's turn to occupy the crease.

But on what was the perfect day for batting - and the perfect occasion to build a substantial first-innings lead that would go a long way towards evening the five-match series up at 1-1 - England blew it.

Choked. Crumbled. Fell in a heap. Embarrassed itself. Sunk to a new low. They all work after England was bowled out for 67 in just 27.5 overs - gifting the Aussies a 112-run headstart in the second innings that became a 283-run lead with four wickets in hand by stumps.

Not even the most pessimistic England supporters would have imagined things could go this wrong as the Poms went from a position of dominance to curling up on the floor in the foetal position as Australia leapt into the frame to retain the Ashes in Leeds.

A win in the third Test at Headingley will give the Aussies an unassailable 2-0 lead and because they won the last series Down Under in 2017/18, a tied series means the little urn will stay in the southern hemisphere.

Tim Paine's men are so close to the coveted trophy they can almost touch it after destroying the home team on day two. It was a spectacular collapse that silenced the crowd as the procession of England batsmen going back to the dressing room never stopped.

The scoreboard said it all. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.
The scoreboard said it all. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

BY THE NUMBERS

The hopeless total of 67 was the lowest ever for a Test match at Headingley, "beating" the 87 England scored in 1909. It was also England's lowest total against Australia since its 52 against Don Bradman's team in 1948 - a whopping 71 years ago.

This latest effort is the third time England has been bowled out for less than 90 in a Test in 2019 and by facing just 167 deliveries, it's the second-fewest balls ever faced in an innings in England.

Sixty-seven is England's fourth-lowest score ever in a Test at home and Joe Denly made history by scoring 12 - registering the lowest ever top score in an innings for the Poms.

Australia also made history, scoring the lowest ever total required to establish a lead of more than 100 at the end of the first innings of a Test.

Fielding in the slips, David Warner was given catching practice and claimed a record of his own. He took four very good catches to equal the most grabs ever snared in an innings by a non-wicketkeeper in Ashes history.

'SHOULD BE ASHAMED': FANS, PLAYERS FUME

Unsurprisingly, furious England fans and ex-players hammered the side for surrendering so meekly.

In commentary for the BBC, former England captain Michael Vaughan called the shocking collapse "madness" and "a sad state of affairs". He was even harsher on Twitter, congratulating Australia on retaining the Ashes.

"This has been a pathetic effort ... No hiding behind any excuses ... simply not good enough," Vaughan wrote. "A DVD should be made of how to bowl at Headingley by Australia this morning ... A VHS video tape should be produced of how not to bat at Headingley by England this morning."

Ex-England opening batsman Michael Carberry offered up his thoughts, saying there's too much focus on batsmen being aggressive because T20 cricket has become so dominant. He accused batsmen of forgetting the art of batting time and also suggested selectors must shoulder some of the blame for the horrendous batting on show in Leeds.

"Can't watch anymore !! Have we missed that memo it's a Test match we have 2/3 days to bat????" he tweeted.

"This is the problem globally batsmanship is diminishing because selectors are trying to turn hitters into batsman for entertainment. Techniques now mimic baseball hitters... whereas batsman sum up conditions and are able to adapt...... Yes that word ADAPT!!!!!

"We have talented young batsman we have successfully managed to ruin most of them or don't select them because of entertainment."

Former England star turned commentator Isa Guha said on Twitter "that was painful" and ex-international fast bowler Alex Tudor wrote: "No one wants to do the hard graft anymore. Any danger of someone batting for at leat 100 balls!!!"

BBC commentator Jonathan Agnew weighed in while the public reaction was, as you can imagine, unforgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

Australian legend Mark Waugh also had a swipe, saying England's batting was "not up to Test standard".

"Wow can't quite believe what I've just watched. Outstanding from the Aussies and probably no words could describe the Poms," Waugh wrote on Twitter.

ENGLAND CAMP REACTS TO DISASTER

England batting coach Graham Thorpe will have been hurting as much as the players and said their pride will have been dented by the poor decision-making of batsmen who played shots they would rather forget.

"We're disappointed with the way we batted. It's tough to take in the dressing room when that happens," Thorpe said.

"It was good bowling, I'll give credit to Australia's bowlers as well, they bowled in very good areas … but there was also some poor shot selection.

"Our batsmen will be disappointed today with some of their shots - outside the eye line a lot, four dismissals out of our top six.

"You can get exposed if you don't get things right and if you don't get shot selection right you're going to get punished.

"Playing for your country is a very special thing and ultimately the guys have a great deal of pride so their pride would have been dented today.

"These guys want to perform but they have to be able to do better - simple as that."

AUSSIES HOPE TO OPEN SOME SCARS

Fresh from his latest Test five-wicket haul, Josh Hazlewood said he couldn't believe he had helped knock England over for such a low total and hoped it would create some mental demons later in the series.

"I can't remember a day like this to be honest. It's been fantastic, it's been a great day - that's a much as I can say about it," Hazlewood said,

"I guess we might be starting with a few scars there, I'm not sure. Sixty is hard work to come back from during a Test. I don't think many teams are winning if one of their innings is 60 or 70 runs.

"It makes it difficult so if we start well again next innings, they might think, 'Here we go again'. So it's just creating that doubt in the mind through the way we've gone about it - not letting the foot off now, just keep going."

HOW IT HAPPENED

The diabolic batting performance started when Jason Roy outside edged a loose drive that was caught by Warner at slip to continue his horror run at the top of the order and the news only got worse from there.

Joe Root was caught behind for a second ball duck, Rory Burns gloved a ball down the leg side and Ben Stokes played a horrible slash to a wide delivery from James Pattinson that was snaffled again by Warner to reduce the hosts to 4/34.

Exactly.
Exactly.


Joe Denly and Jonny Bairstow were both out edging behind the wicket before lunch and the carnage continued after the break. Chris Woakes gloved a Pat Cummins short ball to wicketkeeper Paine first ball after the break, Jos Buttler punched a catch to short cover, Jofra Archer feathered a bouncer through to Paine and No. 11 Jack Leach was bowled around his legs by Josh Hazlewood.

That final scalp gave Hazlewood his fifth wicket for the innings as he finished with 5/30, while Cummins finished with three wickets and Pattinson took two in an unforgettable day.


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