Australia win by 275 runs to go 2-0 up after Buttler defiance ends in hit-wicket
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Dropped catches, one-handed stunners and a 15-ball blob in the first innings and stonewalling Australia’s bowlers for over four hours in the second innings. A bizarre game for England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was brought to an equally bizarre end shortly into the third session on the final day of the second Ashes Test on Monday when he was dismissed hit wicket off Jhye Richardson under the Adelaide night sky. Till the strange exit, Buttler had battled for 206 balls and scored 26 runs, displaying remarkable abstinence to prolong Australia’s wait for victory. But the 207th ball—an innocuous back of a length delivery by Richardson—saw Buttler go back and defend towards the point region. So far, so good you thought. Inexplicably, however, he had gone so far back that his back leg ended up hitting the stumps. He didn’t realise what he had done until Australia’s players started raucously celebrating the ninth wicket of England’s innings. Having had to wait patiently through the first two sessions of the fifth day, they knew that a victory was finally imminent.
They weren’t wrong. Three overs later, Richardson took his fifth wicket of the innings when a well-directed bouncer into James Anderson’s body was fended to Cameron Green at gully. It sealed Australia’s victory by a commanding 275 runs and ensured a 2-0 series lead with three Tests to play.
While a spirited show by Buttler and Chris Woakes (44 off 97 balls) was some solace for England on Monday, the fact that only one team in the history of the Ashes—Don Bradman’s Australia at home in 1936/37—has fought back from 0-2 down to win a series illustrates what England are up against. For starters, they need to win a Test in Australia, which they haven’t done since January 2011.