After restricting Australia to 317 runs in the first innings, England lost the wicket of Ben Duckett rather early, and thus, there was a lot of pressure on the home team as the Ben Stokes-led side is still trailing 2-1 in the ongoing Ashes 2023. They needed some much-needed momentum in the middle, and that’s exactly what Zak Crawley and Moeen Ali delivered. Their 121-run partnership changed the complexion of the game, and even after Moeen walked back to the pavilion, Crawley managed to keep going and eventually hit 189 runs, which further sunk Australia’s ship.
Talking about Crawley’s excellent batting, former England skipper Joe Root lauded the cricketer and mentioned that it was somewhere around the corner. He stated to have enjoyed his time at the other end and mentioned the importance of scoring a century in the Ashes.
“It’s nice to stand there and watch you play like that. There’s Ashes, hundreds and then there’s that, in my opinion, like to be able to go and put an end inside that together. With the series on the line, how the pitch is played and all the rest of it to go and perform. That was incredible, mate. So to be stood at the other end, watching it all and just sort of playing second fiddle was a job,” Root told Crawley in a video shared by England Cricket.
“Hopefully we can push, push on this lead into a really strong position and then see where we’re at. To stand at the other end and watch you (Crawley) play in that manner, it felt like a long time coming. And he played lovely all summer. You set us up and put us in a really good position for the rest of this game,” Root added.
💬 “There’s Ashes hundreds and then there’s that… To be stood at the other end was a joy.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 20, 2023
Root, meanwhile, batted magnificently as well. The cricketer did not let the Aussie bowlers put any kind of pressure as his 84 runs off 95 deliveries showed England’s intent in the middle. Both Crawley and Root played some sensational cricket as their partnership of 206 runs put England in the driver’s seat at the end of the day’s play.