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England 258 (Burns 53, Bairstow 52, Hazlewood 3-58) and 258 for 5 dec (Stokes 115*, Cummins 3-35) drew with Australia 250 (Smith 92, Broad 4-65) and 154 for 6 (Labuschagne 59, Head 42*, Archer 3-32, Leach 3-37)
In a match featuring such high drama, there had to be a twist or two. So there was as England dominated an Australia side missing the concussed Steven Smith, threatening to snatch victory via Jofra Archer's firebolts, but then being thwarted by some dogged batting by Smith's concussion substitute Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head as the second Test ended in a draw at Lord's.
Smith was ruled out before play on the final day after waking up with symptoms of concussion, despite initial assessments having cleared him to resume his innings the previous day after suffering a nasty blow to the neck from an Archer bouncer. After rain delayed the start by more than an hour, the sun broke through to reveal a continuation of the thrilling contest this match had become after a washed-out opening day.
Labuschagne, the first concussion replacement in Test history under playing conditions introduced on August 1, withstood more Archer barrages to score a half-century which was pivotal in helping Australia avoid defeat after Archer and Jack Leach had run through the tourists' top order. Labuschagne's 59 was Australia's top score for their second innings and came after he had been hit flush on the helmet grille by Archer on the first legal delivery he faced.
Archer picked up where he left off in Australia's first innings, which fell just eight runs shy of England's 258, unleashing serious heat on the visitors, who needed 267 runs to win after Man of the Match Ben Stokes' impressive unbeaten century turned the hosts' paltry lead into a healthy one.
David Warner's lean Ashes continued when he prodded an Archer length ball to gully, where Rory Burns took a good, low catch. Out for 5, it was Warner's fourth single-figure innings in the series so far.
Archer immediately set about peppering Usman Khawaja, greeting Australia's No. 3 with three balls of 90mph or more. It wasn't long at all before Khawaja was out edging Archer to Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps for 2 off just six deliveries. Cameron Bancroft put up some resistance with Labuschagne before Leach trapped him lbw with one that kept low and rapped him on the shin shortly after tea. That extended Bancroft's run of poor returns this series to four innings also with scores of 8, 7, 13 and 16.
From there, Labuschagne and Head put on an 85-run stand for the fourth wicket, which became a sub-plot in itself. Labuschagne wore a few body blows and survived an lbw appeal, turned down and then reviewed by England with the DRS showing Chris Woakes' ball striking him too high on the back leg and outside the line. Head, meanwhile, was dropped on 22 by Jason Roy in the slips off the bowling of Stokes when Australia were 96 for 3.
But it was Labuschagne's dismissal that provided the next spike in tension. As the batsman swept a Leach delivery onto the leg side, the ball bounced off Jos Buttler's thigh at short leg and sailed just forward of square leg, where Joe Root claimed the lowest of catches. After a soft signal of out and a lengthy review, the dismissal was upheld, with replays not entirely conclusive as to whether the ball had made contact with the grass first.
Matthew Wade, caught at short leg off Leach's next ball - the first of his subsequent over - and Tim Paine fell cheaply, although in Paine's case, it was rather spectacular, with Joe Denly plucking the ball one-handed from the sky as he leapt to his left at midwicket to give Archer his third wicket of the innings and fifth of the match.
At that point, there were seven overs left with England needing four wickets but Head remained unbeaten on 42, alongside Pat Cummins, when the sides shook hands on the draw with three balls unbowled. Archer finished the innings with 3 for 32 and Leach 3 for 37.
Earlier, Stokes had given England the chance of pressing for victory. Moving up one place in the order to No. 5 ahead of Buttler, Stokes' unbeaten 115 off 165 balls included three sixes and 11 fours after he had resumed the day on 16. Buttler, who resumed on 10, produced a controlled 31 off 108 balls but he failed to add to his score after lunch. Bairstow added 30 off 37 balls in support as Stokes neared his century and, once the milestone was reached, the pair swung freely until Root made the declaration.
Smith, who scored twin centuries in Australia's first-Test victory at Edgbaston, will undergo continued testing to determine whether he is fit to play in the third Test, starting at Headingley on Thursday.
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