Ashes Player Ratings: Pope and Tongue set the tone for England’s kamikaze approach as Smith shines
England came so close to recreating their Ashes exploits from Headingley four years, led by Ben Stokes’ scintillating 155 runs from 214 balls on the final day, but fell agonizingly short.
Australia were victorious in the second Test at Lord’s, winning by 43 runs to establish a 2–0 lead in the series, meaning England need to win their last three games to take the urn.
Steve Smith dusted off his Edgbaston cobwebs to shine with the bat en route to 110 runs to put the Aussies on track on the first day, as the visitors also punished England with ball in hand.
There was a furor on the final day when Usman Khawaja and David Warner clashed with members in the Long Room following Alex Carey’s firing of Jonny Bairstow, forcing the MCC to apologise.
Below, Mail sports‘s Lawrence Booth examines how each player performed at Lord’s.
Australia have won the second Ashes Test at Lord’s after beating England by 43 runs
England players enjoyed a mixed test embedded with a variety of highs and lows
Batted beautifully in the first innings for 48 until he went walkabout against Nathan Lyon. Undone by a casual leg flick in the second.
Ben Duckett 8.5
Ended concerns that he couldn’t hack it against Australia’s fast hits with very confident hits of 98 and 83. Twice fell down the leg side to the short ball, but overall rated that delivery well.
Ollie Pope 5.5
Had Australia at his mercy on the second night, before setting the tone for England’s kamikaze approach to the short ball, but got a beauty from Starc 48 hours later. Dropping Warner in the slips on the first morning.
He was sucked into the short-ball madness, when given the chance to calm England down, and was worked brilliantly by Cummins in the second innings. Removed Head and Green in the same over, then later pulled an eyelid off the short leg to see Head.
English skipper Ben Stokes gets a well deserved 9 after his super stroke performance
Ben Duckett was solid as an England opener, falling just two runs short of his maiden Ashes century
Harry Beck 5
Looked worryingly frantic against the short stuff, and it was annoying for England that he continued risky stroke play on the third morning. Cleaned up second time by Cummins.
Ben Stokes 9
Scored one of the great centuries in the fourth inning to bring back memories of Headingley 2019, but had too much going on. Also threw a heroic 12-over spell from bouncers on the fourth afternoon, pretty much on one leg.
Started the test by carrying a Just Stop Oil demonstrator off the field, then chipped halfway in the first innings, before wandering out of his fold in the second – a dismissal that went down as a stumping from Green. Also conceded 27 byes.
Stuart Broad 6.5
Not at his best on the opening day when conditions were in his favour, but drew on his competitive instinct to take four wickets in the second inning. Can still grumble at Stokes’ refusal to revise his lbw yell against Labuschagne, but got stuck with the bat to add 108 with his captain.
His pace was a fraction slower, but he still finished with five wickets and bowled superbly at times with little luck. His spell of 9-6-7-2, bowling bouncers on the fourth afternoon, showed his versatility.
Josh Tongue played with the ball on his Ashes debut as he took vital Australian wickets
England batsman Ollie Pope had Australia at his mercy on the second night at Lord’s
Josh tongue 7.5
A seriously promising Ashes debut. His five wickets were Warner and Smith twice, plus Khawaja. Two Lord’s Tests this summer took him 10 out of 25.
Match figures of two for 117 added to suspicions that all is not well for England’s leading wicket taker. I also dropped two catches and generally seemed off pace. Hard to imagine him playing at Headingley.
Usman Khawaja 7.5
Underlined his status as batsman of the series to date by leading Australia’s second innings with 77 in often tricky circumstances. England, however, will have noticed his slight discomfort against the short ball.
Two important contributions from a player under constant scrutiny. His first innings 66 even contained a few Bazball-like swells, and his second innings 25 protected middle order under gray skies for 107 minutes.
Australia’s Cameron Green (right) started England’s collapse in the first innings by removing Pope
Marnus Labuschagne 6
Not at his best, and luckily England decided not to revise Broad’s lbw shout, but still made 47 and 30. Played arguably the worst shot of the game, amid fierce competition, as he flat-hit Anderson to point.
Steve Smith 9
Was back at his unavoidable best during his century in the first innings, which kicked off the game for Australia. His dismissal in the second innings for the short ball was as stupid as England’s. Relieved his drop from Stokes didn’t cost Australia the Test.
Steve Smith was back at his best with the bat as he scored 110 runs in Australia’s first innings
Travis Head 8
Punished a lethargic England on the first day with a 73-ball 77 before attacking Root, but seemed less comfortable against the bouncers the second time around. I took a few tailend wickets in Lyon’s absence.
cameron green 5
Still looking one place too high at No. 6, but sparked England’s first innings collapse by removing Pope, and allowed Australia to continue their short-ball tactic.
Made a pair of unfulfilled 20s and was easily taken out by Broad in the second innings. But his interview, after nine layoffs at Edgbaston, remained spotless – even though most Lords thought he was playing Bairstow.
Mitchell Starc 7.5
Went for runs but took big wickets including five different members of England’s top six. The ball bowled by Ollie Pope in their second innings was one of the test’s champagne moments.
Australia’s Alex Carey was the bad guy on the last day at Lord’s after firing Jonny Bairstow
Josh Hazlewood (pictured) was expensive with the ball but grabbed Stokes’ crucial scalp
Broke open England’s second innings during a magical over in which he removed Root and Brook. Just one win away from becoming the first Australian captain to win a series in England since Steve Waugh in 2001.
Ended Crawley’s fun on day one, then suffered a heartbreaking calf injury that may have ended his Ashes. His decision to hobble was either brave or foolish, but he did draw Broad for four.
Passed for nearly five, making this the costliest Test of his 61-game career. But he kept showing up with big wickets: Duckett twice, Bairstow in the first innings, then Stokes at the end, all but the game for Australia.