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“This Is Bazball!”: Harry Brook’s Bowling Leaves Experts Stunned During Ashes | Cricket News


“This Is Bazball!”: Harry Brook’s Bowling Leaves Experts Stunned During Ashes | Cricket News

England skipper Ben Stokes surprised everyone by declaring the innings towards the end of Day 1 in the first Ashes Test and he was once again the topic of intense debate as he handed the ball to Harry Brook on Day 2. Brook is not a regular bowler but Stokes went for that option as he wanted to test Steve Smith with a slow-ish medium pace bowling. Brook bowled just one over and conceded one run but his introduction into the attack prompted hilarious remark from the commentators.  “What is going on here?” Ponting said while speaking on Sky Sports Cricket. Former English skipper Michael Atherton was quick to come up with a brilliant response. “This is Bazball!” Atherton replied.

England captain Ben Stokes captured the prize wicket of Australia star batsman Steve Smith after Stuart Broad stuck twice in two balls in the first Test at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Australia were 78-3 at lunch on the second day, still a huge 315 runs behind England’s first-innings 393-8 declared, a total built on Joe Root‘s unbeaten 118 — the former skipper’s first Ashes hundred in eight years.

Broad reduced Australia to 29-2 in the seventh over of Saturday’s play after removing both David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne, the world’s top-ranked Test batsman, with successive deliveries.

In the drawn 2019 Ashes in England, left-handed Warner had averaged a meagre 9.50 in 10 innings and was dismissed seven times by Broad.

Stokes had said before this match that Broad’s record against Warner had been a factor in his selection for the first of this five-match series and the 36-year-old seamer yet again proved to be the opener’s nemesis.

Warner had fought hard for a score of nine on an overcast morning favouring England’s quicks when he contributed to his own dismissal by chasing a wide ball outside off from Broad and inside edged into his stumps.

The roars that greeted Warner’s exit became deafening next ball when Labuschagne fell for a golden duck.

He edged a sharp Broad outswinger that was brilliantly caught one-handed by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, diving low to his right in front of Root at first slip.

There had been much debate ahead of the Ashes over whether Bairstow should keep wicket instead of Ben Foakes.

But having made a run-a-ball 78 in England’s first innings, this catch also highlighted Bairstow’s quality behind the stumps.

Smith survived the hat-trick delivery and it seemed both he and opener Usman Khawaja (40 not out) would get through to lunch despite Stokes ringing the changes in his attack.

Stokes’s bowling fitness had been called into question by a longstanding left knee injury, but the lively all-rounder struck when he rapped Smith on the back foot with a nip-back ball.

Marais Erasmus took his time before giving Smith out lbw and the batsman, unsurprisingly, called for a review.

But replays upheld the experienced South African umpire’s decision and Smith, whose twin centuries in the corresponding Ashes opener at Edgbaston four years ago powered Australia to a 251-run win, was out for 16 to the raucous delight of the crowd.

(With AFP inputs)

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