Curran shows fight as England scrap to 346

Lunch England 346 (Root 83, Malan 62, Cummins 4-80) v Australia
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

England’s tail wagged vigorously on the second day at the SCG, where Stuart Broad swung hard at Australia’s persistent short-pitched attack, Tom Curran rode his luck, and the total moved on to 346 before they were finally dismissed. Pat Cummins finished with 4 for 80 in his first Test innings bowling at his home ground, where England added 113 runs to their overnight total for the loss of their last five wickets.

The day began well for Australia when Dawid Malan fell for 62, having increased his score by only 7, to a superb diving catch by Steven Smith at slip off the bowling of Mitchell Starc. However, that was the high point of Australia’s catching. Cummins at mid-on grassed a low chance off Lyon’s bowling when Curran had 21, and in the next over Josh Hazlewood dropped one of the simplest of skied opportunities at midwicket off Cummins to reprieve Moeen Ali on 22.

Hazlewood’s effort was all the more remarkable because it appeared that he failed to even get a hand on the ball, which bounce off his stomach and hit the turf. Moeen’s life did not costly Australia too dearly, though, for on 30 he gloved a short ball behind off Cummins to leave England at 7 for 294. However, a 41-run stand between Curran and Broad then frustrated Australia’s hopes of a quick finish.

Curran threw the bat and scored via edges and miscues, and Broad scored freely from Australia’s relentless bouncers. He pulled two short deliveries from Cummins clear of the ropes, and by the close of his innings he had a career tally of seven sixes at the SCG – equal second only to Adam Gilchrist on the all-time tally for the ground.

Cummins eventually had some success with his bouncer barrage, though, via the wicket of Curran, who fended to Cameron Bancroft at short leg on 39. In the end it was Nathan Lyon who ended Broad’s stay on 31, when his attempted slog over the leg side was top-edged and caught by Smith at slip. The final wicket came with no addition to the score, when debutant Mason Crane was run out for 4.

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