On the second evening at the Oval, Australia’s innings came to a close at 295 runs, securing a narrow first innings lead of only 12.
England quickly eliminated this deficit, requiring just one over in their second innings.
Crawley and Duckett formed a formidable opening partnership, propelling England to a brisk 79-run start.
By lunch, England had reached 130 for one, establishing a lead of 118 runs.
England’s Strong Start in the Second Innings:
The morning began with a confident stroke from Crawley, reminiscent of the Edgbaston series opener, as he sent the first ball of the day to the boundary through the covers.
Duckett, however, was the more aggressive batsman in the early stages, contributing 40 runs in just five overs.
Mitchell Starc, the Australian left-arm fast bowler, faced a tough time, conceding 22 runs in his first two overs, which led Pat Cummins, the Australian captain, to introduce himself into the attack earlier than planned to regain control.
Stemming the Flow of Boundaries:
Cummins’ presence on the field brought some control, reducing the flow of boundaries.
Nevertheless, England’s openers continued to rotate the strike efficiently, maintaining a scoring rate of over five runs per over.
Starc’s return to the attack proved to be fruitful for Australia, as the tourists successfully used a review to identify Duckett’s outside edge, resulting in his dismissal for 42 runs.
England’s Charge Led by Crawley:
After lunch, Moeen Ali was unable to bat immediately due to a groin injury he sustained on day two, leaving Ben Stokes to promote himself to No. 3 in the batting order.
However, it was Crawley who stole the show, taking charge of the innings.
The Kent batsman remained unbeaten at lunch, accumulating an impressive 71 runs from 73 deliveries, with a particular liking for Todd Murphy’s spin bowling.
The second day at the Oval witnessed a fascinating display of cricket as Australia was bowled out for 295, and England made a strong comeback in their second innings.
With Crawley leading the charge, England secured a solid lead and gained the upper hand in the match.
As the game progressed, both teams would be eager to seize control and secure a crucial advantage in this thrilling contest.