England continue to fight but Australia 152 runs ahead in 5th Ashes 2021-22 Test at Hobart

Australia are eyeing their fourth win in the ongoing Ashes 2021-22 series at Hobart

England continued to challenge Australia in the fifth and final Test of the Ashes 2021-22 series being played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, but the hosts remained on top of the contest on the second day in the second day-night match of the series. Australia were ahead by 152 runs, reaching 37/3 in their second innings, having bowled England out for 188 in their first innings.

Australia, who had posted a strong total of 303 in the first innings, took a lead of 115 runs with Pat Cummins taking 4/45 and Mitchell Starc claiming 3/53 while Scott Boland and Cameron Green taking one wicket each. 

England batsmen continued to disappoint with plenty of them getting starts but none of them converting them into big scores. Zak Crawley was dismissed for 18, Dawid Malan fell for 25, England captain Joe Root made 34 from 46 balls whereas wicket-keeper batsman Sam Billings dazzled with attractive stroke play before his innings was cut short, for 29 from 48 balls with the help of 6 boundaries.

England bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes did well to strike 5 boundaries and a six to make 36 from 48 balls while surviving two dropped chances by Australian fielders in the slip cordon. Mark Wood made 16 but England could not go past the 200-run mark in the first innings, handing Australia a big lead.

As the home team batsmen walked out to bat under lights, they were certainly under pressure given that Stuart Broad once again accounted for David Warner in what should be their final meeting on the cricket field ever. The Australian opener bagged a pair for the second time in the Ashes series, having gone through the similar fate in Ashes 2019 in England. 

The left-handed Australia opener Usman Khawaja took his first run from the 24th ball he faced but was dismissed by Wood for 11 from 38 balls with the help of 2 boundaries. There was further trouble in store for the hosts when Marnus Labuschagne could make only 5 from 11 balls before he was caught down the leg side by wicket-keeper Billings off Woakes.

Australia vice-captain Steve Smith, who has not yet scored a century so far in this Ashes series, did well to reach 17 not out from 37 balls with the help of 3 boundaries and in company of nightwatchman Scott Boland, who batted bravely against England fast bowlers to make 3 not out from 25 balls.

Earlier in the first innings, Australia were bolstered by a splendid century from Travis Head who made 101 whereas all-rounder Green made 74 from 109, balls as the two revived the team from a precarious position of 83/4, which was 12/3 at one stage.