Mind games and Ashes Test cricket go hand-in-hand. As they did on Thursday, the second day of the fifth Ashes Test.
With Marnus Labuschagne batting at 9 off 81 deliveries, Stuart Broad took to theatrics to affect the Australian number three’s concentration in the middle. The right arm pacer walked towards the striker’s end and flipped the bails.
This was followed by Labuschagne leaning forward and edging one to the slips for Joe Root to nab a ripper. The right hander is seen complaining to the umpires about the incident whereas Broad would pat Usman Khawaja on the shoulders at the non-striker’s end. Here’s a video of the incident:
: Stuart Broad
: Mind Games Extraordinaire
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 28, 2023
Broad struck twice after lunch as Australia slipped to 186-7 at tea on day two of the fifth and final Ashes test at The Oval on Friday, trailing England by 97 runs.
The veteran England pacer also ended Khawaja’s dogged resistance for 47 and dismissed Travis Head before James Anderson bowled Mitchell Marsh, Joe Root removed Alex Carey and Mark Wood dismissed Mitchell Starc to lift England’s hopes of levelling the series.
Steve Smith, unbeaten on 40 at the interval, will be the key for Australia who lead the series 2-1 as they bid to win the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.