Lords Test: Australia cling on to draw despite Archer, Leach heroics
London, Aug 19 - The exceptionally talented Jofra Archer and left-arm spinner Jack Leach gave Australia a real scare before Travis Head and Pat Cummins held on to a draw in the high-octane clash, after Steve Smith was ruled out with concussion on Day 5 of the rain-affected second Ashes Test at Lord's here on Sunday.
Ben Stokes hit a brilliant 115 off 165 balls, his innings laced with 11 fours and three sixes, to put England in a strong position and set Australia a target of 267 after resuming the day on 96/4 after rain -- which had already washed out five sessions in this match -- delayed the start by over an hour.
In the final innings of the five-day contest, the Aussies -- playing without batting mainstay Smith -- were reduced to 47/3 inside 14 overs before Head (42 not out) and Cummins (1 not out) made sure they did not lose in fascinating fashion to end the match on a stalemate.
Smith's replacement Marnus Labuschagne, who became the first like-for-like substitute in the 142-year history of Test cricket, gave a good account of himself with a 59 off 100 balls (8x4) before Leach, who had figures of 3/37, had him caught by England skipper Joe Root at midwicket.
The visitors lost David Warner (5) and Usman Khawaja (2) just before tea and were tottering at 46/2. Archer accounted for both the wickets as he finished with figures of 3/32.
Just after tea, Cameron Bancroft (16) departed trapped in front by Leach as the Aussies were in a spot of bother. Head and Labuschagne then shared a vital 85-run partnership to stem the rot.
Once Labuschagne was gone, Mathew Wade (1) and Aussie captain Tim Paine (4) failed to produce any spark. But in the end, Head and Cummins saw off the matter in a tense finish.