Ashes 2023: Australia are now in the driving seat after the end of Day 2 of the first Test

Australia are now in a healthy position as they are only trailing by 82 runs after the end of Day 2 of the first test of the Ashes 2023.

Abishek Goswami
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Ashes 2023 | Ashes 2023: Australia are now in the driving seat after the end of Day 2 of the first Test | Sportz Point

Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey produced a brilliant show in the final session to drive Australia to 311/5 at the Stumps. They now only trail by 82 runs as both the teams still have a 50-50 shot at the match. Khawaja returned unbeaten on 126, while Carey scored 52*. It was Khawaja's 15th Test ton, his first on English soil. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes-led England dominated the opening session as Australia lost three wickets and reached 78 from the overnight score of 14/0. The second session saw Australia produce a good fight as the Aussies accumulated 110 runs for the loss of one wicket. England earlier declared their innings at 398/8 at the closing stages of Day 1 of the first test of Ashes 2023.

Read Also: Usman Khawaja Scored His 15th Test Century in the first test of the Ashes 2023

Warner & Khawaja saw the day out at 14 for no loss but Warner could not hold on to his wicket for long on Day 2 and got dismissed by his nemesis Stuart Broad. On the very next delivery, Broad removed world number one Test batter Marnus Labuschagne to leave the Baggy Greens at 29 for 2. Khawaja then formed a 38-run stand with Steve Smith before England skipper Ben Stokes trapped him lbw.

Ashes 2023: Khawaja scored his first test century on the English soil

Khawaja looked strong and made a crucial 81-run partnership with Travis Head for the fourth wicket. Both the batters completed their half-centuries before Moeen Ali sent Head in the 46th over. Khawaja showed his calmness and balance as he kept scoring at a positive rate and nullified the English bowling attack. The 36-year-old formed another important partnership for the Aussies, this time with Ashes debutant Cameron Green. They built a 72-run stand for the fifth wicket. The two batters revived Australia's innings in the second and third sessions of Day 2 before Moeen struck again, cleaning up Green for 38 off 68 deliveries.

Soon after Green's dismissal, Khawaja brought up his maiden century on English soil by cutting Stokes for a boundary in the 69th over. Khawaja got to his hundred in 199 deliveries with 12 boundaries and two sixes. This was Khawaja's 15th Test century and his fourth against England, with the other three coming in Australia.

Alex Carey also showed maturity and helped Khawaja to hold the ground strong and built a brilliant partnership of 72 runs. Carey completed his half-century and remained unbeaten at 52. Khawaja also ended the day unbeaten on 126. Australia are now just 82 runs behind of England and have really good chance to get past them after the start of Day 3.

Pat Cummins Cricket Australia Test Cricket Marnus Labuschagne The Ashes Josh Hazlewood Jonny Bairstow Steve Smith Moeen Ali Joe Root Nathan Lyon Stuart Board England Cricket Team Ben Stokes Usman Khawaja Travis Head