With Australia trailing by three wickets, Ben Stokes dismisses Steve Smith just before lunch. Australia has a very cautious start in the first session of Day 2 of the first Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston, completely in contrast to Day 1 of the match. Their situation was made worse by Stuart Broad’s early double strike and the surrounding cloud cover.
In the midst of this, English captain Ben Stokes complicates matters by taking Steve Smith’s wicket. Smith ultimately plays the wrong line and is confronted.
Smith attempted to play the flick towards square leg after Stokes caused the ball to angle into his pads. He played around it and was trapped in front, yet strangely he was unable to get any bat on it. Initially taking his time, the umpire eventually raised his finger to declare Smith out.
Smith went for a review because he believed the ball hit him a little too high and appeared a little taken aback by the choice. The ball hit the stumps, as revealed by the replays, so he had to make the far trip back to the pavilion. Given how large Smith’s wicket was, Stokes and the other England players were understandably thrilled.
The dismissal video can be found here:
The fact that England declared their innings at 393/8 and came under some scrutiny for it may have put them under some pressure going into Day 2. The fact that the hosts have already taken three Australian wickets, however, will make them happy with the way things have turned out for them thus far.
As David Warner attempted to be a little too aggressive, Stuart Broad dismissed him once more after he chopped at a relatively harmless delivery. The very next delivery, Marnus Labuschagne was out after chasing a wide on, which was perfectly caught by Jonny Bairstow.
Australia’s innings appeared to have been stabilized by Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja, but the visitors were dealt a devastating blow when Smith was dismissed just before lunch. Travis Head must hit, and Khawaja must keep holding down the innings.