Pat Cummins double stuns England after Steve Smith makes brave 92 in second Test following injury

Australia's Steve Smith receives treatment as he lays on the floor after being hit by a ball from England's Jofra Archer as England's Jos Buttler and Australia's Pat Cummins look on. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 17 August 2019

Pat Cummins double stuns England after Steve Smith makes brave 92 in second Test following injury

  • England were 96-4 in their second innings — a lead of 104 runs
  • Ball struck Smith on the side of the neck and head

LORD’S, London: Australia’s Steve Smith returned to make 92 after a sickening blow to the neck before England captain Joe Root fell for the first golden duck of his Test career as Pat Cummins took two wickets in two balls on a dramatic fourth day of the second Ashes clash at Lord’s.
England were 96-4 in their second innings — a lead of 104 runs — when rain forced an early close on Saturday.
But with one day left, Australia know early wickets on Sunday could leave them in a position to press for a victory that would put them 2-0 up in a five-match series.
England will now look to Ben Stokes, dropped twice on his way to 16 not out, and Jos Buttler (10 not out), to keep Australia at bay.
Smith’s 92 was the centerpiece of Australia’s 250 all out in reply to England’s first innings 258.
The star batsman had made 80 when he was felled by a bouncer from fast bowler Jofra Archer, making his Test debut, timed at 92.4 mph.
The ball struck him on the side of the neck and head.
Smith, fell face forward onto the ground. He was wearing a helmet without the additional neck protection that was introduced following the death of Phillip Hughes after his former Australia team-mate was hit by a bouncer in a 2014 domestic Sheffield Shield match in Sydney.
“He doesn’t wear it because it is a personal choice,” Australia coach Justin Langer told Sky Sports after stumps.
“We know it is available but he can’t feel comfortable with it on.”
Smith, who had marked his comeback Test following a 12-month ball-tampering ban, with innings of 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston, received several minutes of on-field treatment involving both teams’ medical staff.
He got to his feet but eventually retired hurt, with Smith receiving a generous round of applause as he returned to the pavilion.
“It was a terrible blow,” said Langer. “It looked horrible at the time.”
This series has seen the introduction of concussion protocols that allow injured batsmen to be replaced by a substitute — previously restricted to fielding duty alone.
But Langer insisted Smith’s health had not been put at undue risk by letting him resume his innings as soon as possible when Peter Siddle’s exit left Australia 218-7 after a break of 46 minutes.
“We were, absolutely (happy for Smith to bat again). He went through the concussion testing,” said Langer, himself hit on the head several times during his career as an Australia opening batsman.
“We wouldn’t let him go out unless we were confident he could do the job.”
Archer had previously struck Smith, then on 70, on his unprotected forearm with another bouncer in a fiery eight-over spell.
And it was that injury, not the blow to the neck, which Australia said prevented Smith from fielding on Saturday, although a team spokesman said later that hospital X-rays had revealed no fracture.
From the second and third balls he faced on his return, Smith hit two fours off paceman Chris Woakes.
But on 92, facing his ninth ball, Smith shouldered arms to a Woakes nip-back delivery and was plumb lbw to leave Australia 234-8.
Smith reviewed almost as an after-thought before replays confirmed the end of a 161-ball innings that included 14 fours.
Stuart Broad took 4-65 in 27.3 overs and Woakes 3-61 in 19 while Archer finished with figures of 2-59 in 29.
“That was serious, serious pace,” said Woakes of Archer. “I was at fine leg and could still tell.
“It is never nice to see anyone get hit. Thankfully it looks like Steve is OK.
“He is a great player and it took something special from Jofra to get him out of his bubble.”
England then suffered an a familiar collapse, Jason Roy, caught and bowled by Cummins (2-16) off a leading edge.
Next ball, 9-1 became 9-2 with Root caught behind off a superb delivery.
Joe Denly survived the hat-trick before being caught and bowled by Siddle (2-19), who also removed Rory Burns.


FIFA may extend punishments globally after racism at Bulgaria-England match

Updated 2 min 34 sec ago

FIFA may extend punishments globally after racism at Bulgaria-England match

  • Racist incidents include monkey chants directed at black players
  • UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria for racist behavior

ZURICH: Football body FIFA on Tuesday said it may extend punishments globally after racist incidents, including monkey chants directed at black players, marred a match between Bulgaria and England.
“FIFA may extend worldwide any sanctions that a Confederation or Member Association imposes for racist incidents, such as those which occurred in Sofia during the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier match between Bulgaria and England,” the Zurich-based organization said.
“FIFA therefore expects to be informed as soon as practicable regarding the relevant decisions of the UEFA disciplinary bodies in relation to this particular case,” it added. “This would allow any sanctions imposed to be extended worldwide.”
European football’s ruling body UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria for racist behavior, including Nazi salutes and chants, and against England for not providing enough traveling stewards.
The game, won 6-0 by England on Monday, was twice halted in the first half and a public announcement was made under UEFA’s three-step protocol for dealing with racist incidents during matches.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said more needed to be done to tackle the “obnoxious disease” of racism which seemed to be getting worse.
“I call on all football governing bodies to join us and think together of new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football,” he said.
Competition organizers should enact regulations which envisage life bans from stadiums for those who are found guilty of racist behavior at a football match, Infantino said.