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England struggle again as Australia seize control of second Ashes Test

Australia seize total control of second Ashes Test
© Reuters
England end day two of the second Ashes Test match with Australia trailing by 456 having been reduced to 17-2 during the evening session.

England already face a fight to save the second Ashes Test match after ending day two trailing Australia by 456 runs.

Joe Root's side had some joy during the early stages of the day, taking the wickets of Marnus Labuschagne (103), Travis Head (18) and Cameron Green (2) to reduce Australia to 294-5.

However, Steve Smith remained a menace at the crease, chipping in with 93, while Alex Carey (51), Mitchell Starc (39) and Michael Neser (35) helped Australia into a position where they could declare on 473-9.

England had toiled with the ball, Ben Stokes posting the best figures of 3-113, and the bowlers will be hopeful of a prolonged rest on day three.

That appears to be in doubt, however, with Rory Burns (4) and Haseeb Hameed (6) being removed by Starc and Neser respectively, forcing Root to the crease as early as the seventh over.

Lightning and rain forced the players off during the closing overs of the final session, handing England, who are on 17-2, welcome respite before arguably the most important day of the series so far on Saturday.

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