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RESULT
2nd Test (D/N), Adelaide, December 16 - 20, 2021, England tour of Australia
473/9d & 230/9d
(T:468) 236 & 192

Australia won by 275 runs

Player Of The Match
103 & 51
marnus-labuschagne
Updated 20-Dec-2021 • Published 20-Dec-2021

As it happened - Australia vs England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day

By Alan Gardner

Australia win by 275 runs

Australia 9 for 473 dec (Labuschagne 103, Warner 95, Smith 93, Carey 51) and 9 for 230 (Head 51, Labuschagne 51) dec beat England 236 (Malan 80, Root 62, Starc 4-37) and 192 (Richardson 5-42) by 275 runs
Australia overcame an epic Jos Buttler rearguard in the final session of the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval to complete a hefty victory that puts them 2-0 up in the series and on the brink of retaining the Ashes. England took the game further than many had expected, largely through the efforts of Buttler during a self-denying innings of 26 from 207 balls, but must now attempt to become only the second team in Ashes history to win from two down.
A late show of character from the England lower order could not disguise the dominance of Australia’s performance. Needing to take six wickets on the final day, they struck twice in the first hour and seemed on course to wrap things up before the floodlights would be needed later in the day. But from the flotsam and jetsam of the innings, Buttler and Chris Woakes lashed together a stand worth 61 in 31.2 overs to help keep the tourists afloat.
Jhye Richardson was bowler to step in and play match-winner for Australia, a maiden five-wicket haul finally breaking English resolve. His slippery nip-backer with the second new ball accounted for Woakes, after a gutsy 44 from the No. 8, and then with Buttler’s marathon effort threatening to put the result into question, Richardson came back again after the tea interval. Buttler’s dismissal hit wicket, stepping back literally on to his off stump, was heartbreaking but the win no more than Australia deserved.
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Buttler gone, England nine down!

Buttler's marathon effort is ended in slightly bizarre fashion, as he treads on his stumps to be out hit wicket! Richardson is the bowler, though he can't claim much of the credit. Buttler had just got so deep in the crease looking to defend that when he went back to push a wide delivery into the off side, he just put his weight on the timber and knocked off a bail. Brilliant effort but he can't take it right to the bitter end, and Australia just need to pick off one of Broad or Anderson to seal the Test.
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Final countdown

Back underway at Adelaide Oval. Mitchell Starc into the attack once again - he's bowled more than 40 overs in this match, six wickets to his name so far. Jhye Richardson from the other end. There are 26 overs scheduled but England may have to face more than that, since it will be a minimum of 15 from the point the umpires signal the final hour. Jos Buttler will be wanting to face the lion's share, with only Stuart Broad and James Anderson between Australia and victory. Get strapped in, folks!
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Tea

England 236 and 8 for 180 (Buttler 25*, Broad 0*) need a further 288 to beat Australia 9 for 473 dec and 9 for 230 dec
Jos Buttler's gutsy rearguard helped England take the game into the final session at Adelaide Oval, with Australia two wickets away from victory and a 2-0 series lead.
Buttler and Chris Woakes extended their seventh-wicket stand to 61 - England's third-highest partnership of the series - and took more than 30 overs out of the Test in the process. The second new ball brought the breakthrough, Jhye Richardson bursting through Woakes defences, but not the expected clatter of wickets as Buttler ground out his second-longest Test innings.
England were within sight of going to tea seven down, only for Nathan Lyon to crowbar out Ollie Robinson via a catch at slip. Stuart Broad nearly contrived to get out from each of his first three deliveries and the umpires extended the session with the possibility of a result in sight; Australia then won an lbw decision against Broad, only for DRS to intervene.
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DRS drama

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Tea pushed back

Stuart Broad nearly managed to get himself out in a different way from each of his first three deliveries - a thick edge just evaded Travis Head in the gully, the next beat him on the inside but cleared the stumps, and he then survived an lbw review having played no shot - and the umpires have decided that's plenty encouragement that a result is now very much on the cards. So tea is pushed back by 15 minutes, with Australia on the verge of sniffing out victory.
But England fans shouldn't give up hope just yet, as my colleague Andrew Miller points out:
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Lyon, yo! England eight down

Robinson goes on the brink of tea, Lyon luring a back-foot prod that flies off the edge to slip. That will keep Australia's tails up ahead of a final session under the floodlights, never mind the cussed defiance of Buttler.
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Ton up

100 The last time England batted 100 overs in the fourth innings of a Test? Headingley 2019
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You shall not pass!

Another quiet period, Buttler and Ollie Robinson looking to stretch Australia further. Buttler's over-my-dead body knock is currently the sixth slowest of 150-plus balls since 1999, in terms of strike rate - right up there with de Villiers on this ground, as well as Hanuma Vihari's heroic effort at the SCG at the start of the year. The floodlights are on, tea around 20 minutes away... and Cameron Green appears to be limbering up, having not been called upon at any point so far today.
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Long haul Buttler

150 This is only the third time in his Test career that Jos Buttler has faced 150 balls in an innings. On the other two occasions, he scored centuries
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Richardson rips through!

Jhye ho! Brilliant ball from Richardson, and Australia have knocked another brick out of the wall. It took a while, but the new nut brings a wicket, ending a defiant stand. Superb length from Richardson and he brings it back a good way with Woakes camped on the crease and looking to defend. Beats the bat and then clatters the top of middle stump.
Worth noting that, as Gnasher pointed out, Australia had barely used the short ball against Woakes in this innings - but Richardson did get him hopping with a well-directed bumper earlier in the over. Maybe just helped ensure the weight wasn't coming forward when needed to for the wicket ball.
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Adelaide memories...

The last Test to be drawn at Adelaide Oval featured a pretty memorable final-day battle: AB de Villiers grinding out 220 balls for 33, Faf du Plessis spending almost eight hours over his maiden hundred. South Africa also began the day four down, although didn't lose a first wicket until the second session of the day.
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Any nerves...?

Andrew McGlashan writes: "The Auckland Test when Matt Prior saved England has already been mentioned on the TV coverage, but when do we seriously start thinking of some of the great escapes? It’s a long way off at the moment but Australia have at least been forced to take the second new ball. It gives Mitchell Starc another crack at Jos Buttler, who he should have claimed for duck – if so, the game would probably have been done by now. It’s been a surprise not to see the Australia quicks go at Chris Woakes more with the short stuff. One good thing for England is that the new ball has been taken with a decent amount of daylight left. If this pair were to get through to the second break, then it might be time to start wondering if a Christmas miracle is possible."
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Fifty stand

4 Number of partnerships worth 50 or more England have now had in the series. Australia have had nine
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*Steve Smith bowling klaxon*

With the new ball just a couple of overs away, Smith has brought himself on for a twirl. The stand between Buttler and Woakes now worth 49...
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Poll

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Dinner

England 236 and 6 for 142 (Woakes 28*, Buttler 16*) need a further 326 runs to beat Australia 9 for 473 dec and 9 for 230 dec
Two wickets inside the first hour moved Australia a step closer to victory on day five of the second Test in Adelaide, before England finally found some lower-order resistance in the shape of an unbroken stand between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes.
Needing to bat out the day to save the game - their target of 468 a distant dream - England lost a wicket inside the first ten minutes of the afternoon session, Ollie Pope fiddling an edge to slip off Mitchell Starc. Buttler came close to making a pair, but Alex Carey was unmoving when he nicked Starc between keeper and slip.
Ben Stokes was rendered near strokeless in scoring 12 from 77 balls, and fell missing a flick off his pads going back to Nathan Lyon - although it needed a review to overturn the on-field not-out decision.
At that point it seemed as if Australia might rush through to complete victory, but Buttler began to appear more settled and Woakes looked to score as Steven Smith rotated through his options. Buttler was happy to rein himself in, seeing out 29 dot balls to the dinner break, to leave Australia waiting for the arrival of the second new ball.
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Shadow boxing, shadow batting

This session is just drifting a touch, not long until the dinner break - after which Australia will soon have access to a new ball. Guess what Steven Smith is thinking about in the meantime...
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Woakes agenda

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A four-over spell for Neser, which started with a couple of maidens - before Chris Woakes decided positivity was the approach for him, punching a pair of boundaries through the off side. In response, Steven Smith brings Jhye Richardson into the attack for the first time today, with Lyon continuing to operate from the other end.
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Australia announce Test squad

Josh Hazlewood has returned to Australia’s squad for the remainder of the Ashes while captain Pat Cummins is available again for Melbourne following his Covid-enforced absence in Adelaide, writes Andrew McGlashan.
Australia have named a 15-player group to cover the Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart matches which includes all those who featured in the second Test along with Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Swepson.
Hazlewood was ruled out of Adelaide with a side strain he sustained at the Gabba. He was replaced by Jhye Richardson with Michael Neser then being handed a last-minute debut when Cummins was forced to withdraw on the morning of the game.
Naming the squad for all three remaining Tests would appear to be a show of faith in opener Marcus Harris who has struggled so far although Khawaja could be considered as an opener.
Mitchell Starc has appeared to be battling a back problem during England’s second innings – although it has not affected his performance – which may put a question mark against him for Melbourne given the tight turnaround between matches.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
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Lyon snaffles Stokes!

That's the one Australia wanted. The batter who can still make them sweat beneath their baggy greens. Lyon has a decent record against Stokes (if Tim Paine knew how to use the DRS, Headingley II would not have happened) and he prises out England's vice-captain after 77 balls of dogged defiance. As at Headingley in 2019, this was a ball that spun and straightened to hit leg. Stokes was right back on his stumps here, attempting to turn the ball away, and although Paul Wilson wasn't interested, and Australia's review seemed more of the inquisitive variety, it was quickly shown to be a very good call. Australia four away.
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#Polite Enquiries

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Starc improvement

Andrew McGlashan writes: "This has been an outstanding Test for Mitchell Starc. It could be argued it is one of his finest performances in the format. He started the season with a few question marks over his place in the side – one commentator in particular was especially vocal – but from the first ball of the series he has shown his value. He has lifted again in this match with the absence of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood – that’s a combination of 386 Test wickets – showing the ability to create chances at all stages of the game with the pink ball, which is what sets him apart from many other quicks in the format. It appears, too, that he is battling a troublesome back after hurting it batting yesterday but has been able to sustain speeds of over 145kph. He is giving Jos Buttler a horrendous working over and should have had him for a pair."
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Buttler gets a life

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Starc strikes

A matter of minutes it all is takes for Australia to tip the equation even further in their favour. Mitchell Starc has continued his spell from last night, and a change to over the wicket was enough to see off Pope via a tame edge to slip. The angle and the length meant he could have left - and Pope's little hop of anguish as he looked to see the catch being taken told you he knew as much. Perfect start for the hosts, England five down inside the first few overs of the day.
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Luck of the draw

Going into the final day of any Test four down and without your best batter - one who is coming towards the end of an annus mirabilis - is a tall ask for any team, never mind one as beleaguered as England in Australia. There are precedents for saving a game on the final day, of course, several in the not-too-distant past. The 2009 Ashes arguably turned on the last-wicket heroics of James Anderson and Monty Panesar in Cardiff (although England were batting in the third innings there). Later that year, England twice saved a Test nine down on their tour of South Africa - in Centurion and Cape Town. And then there's Auckland 2012-13 - a game when England began the final day in a similar position, four down in the face of a distant target. Have England got a Matt Prior, a Graeme Onions, a Monty and Jimmy (well, yes, actually) to come to the rescue today?
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Last knockings...?

Good afternoon, wherever you are in the world. It's the final day in Adelaide, and all results remain possible... at least theoretically. But, fair to say, one result is the clear favourite. England have taken numerous figurative blows to the solar plexus already on this tour, but nothing has been quite as symbolic as Joe Root getting hit amidships late last night. His dismissal a few overs later may have sounded the death knell for England's slim chance of escaping this Test intact; but all is not quite lost, and it's over to Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope to shoot for the stars. Australia, for their part, will be hoping to knock England's lights out before the lights come on, and move 2-0 up with three to play. Let's do this.
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