Tim Paine wasn’t buying what Hawkeye was selling.
Tim Paine wasn’t buying what Hawkeye was selling.

‘Total embarrassment’: Ashes eruption

Australia will head to Leeds for the third Test on Thursday needing just one win from the remaining three matches to retain the Ashes.

That was the reward for gritty day five batting by Marnus Labuschagne (59) and Travis Head (42 not out) as the visitors finished 6/154. England had hopes of levelling the series after Ben Stokes (115 not out) helped set up a declaration of 5/258, creating a lead of 266 with 48 overs to take 10 wickets.

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With Steve Smith sidelined with concussion Australia was in some trouble at 3/47 after the top order failed again but the Labuschagne and Head steadied the ship.

These were the major talking points from day five.

'TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT' HURTING CRICKET

Former Victorian wicketkeeper Darren Berry has slammed the Decision Review System (DRS) after a comical mishap during England's batting innings.

Bowling to Ben Stokes when he was 55 not out and England far from out of danger at 5/165, Nathan Lyon and the rest of the Aussies appealed for LBW when the off-spinner struck him on the pad. The umpire kept his finger down but Tim Paine opted to review the decision and all eyes were on the big screen but it crumbled under pressure.

Ball-tracking technology Hawkeye was about to show everyone whether the ball was going to hit the stumps but it faltered and the crowd was left in suspense. In the middle, David Warner and Peter Siddle laughed as they saw the funny side but captain Tim Paine wasn't laughing when, after several glitches and stops and starts, Hawkeye showed the ball sliding past leg stump.

Hawkeye shows no respect for Lyon's ability to spin it.
Hawkeye shows no respect for Lyon's ability to spin it.

It was Australia's second incorrect review, meaning they had none left, and Paine complained to the umpire the ball couldn't have been missing leg like that because the ball had spun.

His words did nothing to change the decision but the debacle gave Berry - an ardent critic of DRS even before the Ashes - more ammunition to voice his views.

But Australian legend Mark Waugh didn't agree, instead suggesting Lyon has nobody to blame but himself for misjudging the ball's trajectory.

Reviews were a hot topic in this Test after Australia chose not to go upstairs on two occasions on day four when Lyon had a couple of close LBW shouts that were turned down.

Both of those decisions would have been overturned had Paine opted to challenge because Hawkeye showed the ball would have hit the stumps.

If they were too cautious on day four then on day five the Aussies were guilty of being too keen.

SUPER SUB PLAYS STARRING ROLE

For the first time in Test history, a concussion substitute was used when Australia made the decision to withdraw Steve Smith from the Test.

Smith copped a brutal blow on the neck courtesy of a Jofra Archer bouncer on day four and was forced to leave the field before coming back later to resume his innings.

Despite clearing all of his concussion tests immediately after the terrifying knock and being given the all-clear to return to action by the Australian medical team, Smith woke up on day five feeling groggy and with a headache.

Per Cricket Australia's concussion protocol, Smith underwent more testing before day five started and the results had deteriorated from his tests the previous day, leading the team doctor to pull him out of the match.

If someone is concussed during an international match, teams are now able to replace them with a like-for-like replacement and the Aussies parachuted rookie Marnus Labuschagne into the XI.

Welcome to the Ashes. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Welcome to the Ashes. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The young Queenslander had played five Tests before today and had an average of 26.25 but he would never have faced a challenge like the one presented to him at Lord's. Second ball he suffered a similar fate to Smith, getting smashed in the head by an Archer bouncer.

The vicious bumper clattered into the grill of Labuschagne's helmet and he fell to the ground. Whereas Smith remained on the turf when he was hit, Labuschagne bounced straight back up.

The doctor ran out to assess yet another head-knock victim but the 25-year-old was OK to stay in the middle and keep batting.

Labuschagne went on to play his best Test innings. Under extremely testing circumstances, he scored a vital 59 to repel the England bowlers and stem the blood flow when the middle order looked in danger of collapsing.

STOKES GOES BIG

Stokes is having the summer of his life as he took his brilliant one-day form with the bat into the Test arena, scoring his seventh Test century.

Arriving at the crease late on day four, Stokes was scratchy and was lucky to survive. He showed plenty of grit to blunt the Aussie attack in the opening session on day five, putting on an 80-run partnership with Jos Buttler for the fifth wicket, and ground his way to a half century off 106 balls.

But the free-flowing left-hander opened his shoulders after lunch with a licence to chase quick runs as England prepared for a declaration. He started swinging and found the middle of the bat with ease as he hunted another Test ton.

Stokes slapped consecutive slog sweeps for six off Nathan Lyon and reached his century from 160 balls as he piled on his second 50 runs from just 54 deliveries.

The middle order batsman finished unbeaten on 115, hitting 11 fours and three sixes along the way.

It continues Stokes' golden summer after he scored five half centuries in the World Cup, including a spectacular 84 not out in the final against New Zealand.

WARNER'S WOES WORSEN

David Warner's nightmare tour continued when he was caught at gully off the bowling of Jofra Archer for five in the second innings to give him four consecutive single-figure scores.

The left-hander has scored just 18 runs for the series in his reintroduction to Test cricket from his year-long ban and cut a demoralised figure on the Lord's balcony after being dismissed.

There were positive signs when Warner punched his first ball to the cover boundary but there was to be no more joy to follow when Archer found his outside edge.

Warner's opening partner Cameron Bancroft showed lots of courage to weather a ferocious Archer storm shortly before tea as the England quick went up a gear but in the end he couldn't make a sizeable impact on the scoreboard, making just 16 before he was LBW to spinner Jack Leach, playing back to a ball that stayed low and thudded into his pad right in front of the stumps.

Bancroft has scored just 44 runs in the opening two Tests and will be desperate for a big score in Leeds - if selected for the next match - to solidify his place in the team.

News Corp Australia

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