Day two of the fifth Ashes Test: Will Buttler do it for England?
Joe Root’s side are bidding to avoid a first home Ashes series defeat since 2001.
England will hope for more heroics from Jos Buttler when they continue their quest to avoid a first Ashes defeat on home shores since 2001.
The hosts begin day two of the final Test on 271 for eight as they seek to level the series.
Batsman Buttler resumes on 64 after attempting to hit his side out of trouble on the opening day at The Oval with an aggressive knock which included six fours and three sixes.
Australia, who lead 2-1 and have already regained the urn, will be looking for more magic with the ball from the recalled Mitchell Marsh.
Marsh posted career-best figures of four for 35 on Thursday, while batsman Steve Smith is waiting for the opportunity to add to the 671 runs he has registered during the series.
Tweet of the day
Steve Smith should on Friday have the opportunity to add to the 671 runs he has recorded during his five Ashes innings so far. Cricket’s governing body showed their support for the Australian batsman in bizarre fashion on Thursday, tweeting a picture of him portrayed as a goat – the ‘greatest of all time’. The 30-year-old, who regained top spot in the Test batting rankings earlier this month, only needs to face two more deliveries to reach 1,000 balls for the series.
Quote of the day
My body just likes to put on weight easily, and my mum likes to feed me!
- Mitchell Marsh
Australia all-rounder Marsh explains his previous weight problems.
Stat of the day
The 27-run partnership between England batsmen Joe Denly and Rory Burns on Thursday was, incredibly, the highest opening stand of the series so far. Australia will hope to better that when they have the chance to bat. The tourists’ highest opening partnership to date is 13 – a score registered in the second innings of both the first and second Tests.
Captain hoping for more fortune
England captain Joe Root will have his fingers crossed for more fortune on day two as his side attempt to salvage something from the series. Root enjoyed a milestone moment on Thursday when he became the 12th England batsman to register 7,000 Test runs. However, the 28-year-old required a large degree of luck to reach the landmark figure after being dropped by Australian trio Peter Siddle, Tim Paine and the diving Smith.
Rice little earner
England’s players have already raised £10,000 for charity Chance to Shine and have an opportunity to add to that total with their performances during the remaining four days. Musical lyricist Sir Tim Rice has pledged money to the good cause, which aims to give children the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket, based on milestones reached at The Oval. Opening day half-centuries from Root and Buttler contributed £5,000 apiece. Rice has also promised £5,000 for any three-wicket haul, while a century or five-wicket haul will see him donate £15,000.
More Marsh-jestic bowling?
Australia’s position at the end of day one owed a lot to Marsh’s first appearance of the series. The 27-year-old, recalled in favour of Travis Head, will be keen to maintain his fine form and record a maiden five-for. Marsh divides opinion back home but, having previously been dropped for carrying too much weight, is eager to seize his latest chance at Test level. He said: “I love playing for Australia, I just love it, and I want to keep doing it, so I’ll keep working hard.”
After a dry opening day of uninterrupted play, the weather forecast is extremely positive for a repeat on Friday. According to the Met Office, south London will be bathed in sunshine for the duration of the second day, with highs of 21 degrees Celsius.