'That is awful': England's Ashes no-ball nightmare continues

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Ollie Robinson became the second England bowler this Ashes series to miss out on a wicket due to the delivery being a no ball. Pictures: Channel 7/Getty Images
Ollie Robinson became the second England bowler this Ashes series to miss out on a wicket due to the delivery being a no ball. Pictures: Channel 7/Getty Images

For the second Ashes Test in a row, England have been denied a crucial wicket due to a bowler overstepping the crease.

After already giving Australia's Marnus Labuschagne several chances to stay at the crease, having been dropped twice by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, the visitors thought they finally had their man through Ollie Robinson.

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Labuschagne had already completed his century early on day two, having made it to 95 by stumps on Thursday evening.

Robinson and England thought they'd finally seen the back of him when he found an outside edge, only for Labuschagne to be called back by the umpire after the delivery was shown to be a no ball.

The England quick had overstepped the mark just barely - but it was enough to make English hearts temporarily drop in a Test match where little had gone to plan.

Fortunately for Robinson, he was spared his blushes after successfully trapping Labuschagne LBW soon afterwards for 103.

Nevertheless, it was an embarrassing misfortune after the first Test debacle which saw Ben Stokes clean bowl David Warner, only for it to be ruled an illegal delivery and the Australian opener nearly go on to make a century.

Subsequent replays showed that in addition to what would have been the wicket ball, Stokes' previous three deliveries had also overstepped the crease.

A failure of certain review systems meant the third umpire had been unable to signal to the on-field umpire about the missed no balls, leading to some suggestions that the Warner situation would have been avoided had the technology been functioning as intended.

However fans on Twitter were quick to point out it had remained an issue for the second Test in Adelaide, their criticism ramping up after Robinson's lo ball against Labuschagne.

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Former England superstar Ian Botham told Channel 7 he was astounded by how much of a problem England's bowlers were having keeping their front foot behind the crease.

He predicted that if England didn't drastically change their habits when bowling in the nets, they risked surrendering more wickets to no balls in the remaining three Test matches.

"It's poor, poor bowling. You do not have to push the line like this, it's ridiculous," he said.

"You should be at half and half at most.

"The problem is these guys go and bowl in the nets from 16, 17 yards and when it comes out here, they get it wrong.

"This is not the first time in this Test series and if they keep pushing the line it won't be the last."

England could not wait to see the back of Labuschagne after a string of bloopers that saw him dropped on both 21 and 95 by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

But still, the innings allowed Labuschagne to etch his meteoric rise into history.

Of the 3068 men to have played Test cricket in its 144-year history, only Don Bradman, George Headley, Herbert Sutcliffe and Mike Hussey have reached 2000 runs faster than Labuschagne's 34 innings.

Marnus Labuschagne needed every chance England gave him to rack up his first Ashes century on home soil. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Marnus Labuschagne needed every chance England gave him to rack up his first Ashes century on home soil. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Perhaps even more incredibly, Labuschagne now has the most scores of 50 or more after 20 Tests than any other player in history.

He has passed a half-century 17 times but it is against the pink ball where he is most at home.

He has now scored centuries in three straight day-night Tests at the Adelaide Oval, averaging almost 100 and with just one score below 40.

His latest century was one of patience, taking 287 balls to bring up his century as he rode his way through a shot-ball approach from England that became less and less effective on Thursday.

After largely resisting the urge to play, Labuschagnge crunched Jimmy Anderson through midwicket with arguably the shot of the opening day, as he signalled his intentions straight after tea.

He hit two more through the region in the final session of day one, with 60 of his first 103 runs coming between midwicket and fine leg.

With AAP

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