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A statistical look at the rain-affected second Ashes Test at Lord’s

Archer bowled the fastest recorded over by an England bowler in Test cricket.

Jofra Archer was quick to make an impact in Test cricket (Mike Egerton/PA)
Jofra Archer was quick to make an impact in Test cricket (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Tom White, PA Sport Data Journalist

Jofra Archer dominated the headlines as England drew the rain-affected second Test against Australia at Lord’s.

The Test debutant’s pace and hostility unsettled Australia and left their talisman Steve Smith with a concussion which threatens to rule him out of this week’s third Test at Headingley.

Here, the PA news agency takes a statistical look at the Lord’s Test.

Archer brings the fire

Archer bowled the fastest recorded over by an England bowler in Test cricket when the 73rd over of Australia’s first innings – his 25th – averaged out at 92.79mph, according to figures posted on Twitter by analytics company CricViz.

That was quicker by 0.24mph than Andrew Flintoff’s previous record, set in the 2009 Ashes Test at Cardiff, and featured two deliveries clocked at 94mph, and the last thudding off Smith’s gloves at 96mph.

Archer followed it up with England’s eighth and ninth-quickest overs in the same chart, at 91.99 and 91.93mph respectively, with the latter featuring the ball which knocked Smith to the deck.

It was all the more remarkable given the late stage of the innings, with a worn ball. Of the other overs on the CricViz chart, bowled by Andrew Flintoff, Steven Finn, Steve Harmison and James Anderson, all were between the 12th and 15th overs bar Harmison’s at Adelaide in 2006 – the 22nd over of Australia’s innings, and only the paceman’s fourth.

Archer averaged 89.8mph in that spell – only Flintoff, Harmison and Finn have topped 90mph in a spell of six overs or more for England – and bowled 16 successive balls over 90mph. The one concern would be his workload – he bowled 44 overs in the match, almost 31 per cent of the 142 faced by Australia.

Smith stands alone as batsmen struggle

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Steve Smith leaves the field after being struck on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer (John Walton/PA)

That Steve Smith will be a big loss for Australia if not passed fit goes without saying, but it is worth looking at just how dominant he has been in the series.

Smith’s 378 runs in the series are 152 more than his nearest challenger, England opener Rory Burns – indeed, Burns and Ben Stokes are the only pair of batsmen who have combined to outscore him.

Only six batsmen have even passed 100 runs in the series – with Joe Root, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Joe Denly, Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine not among them.

Marnus Labuschagne is more than halfway there after his 59 as Smith’s deputy, but would still have big boots to fill at Headingley.

Stokes lights up Lord’s again

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Ben Stokes celebrates his second century in Lord’s Tests (Mike Egerton/PA)

Ben Stokes’ 115 not out in the second innings continued his strong record at Lord’s, where his Test batting average is now almost 13 runs above his career mark.

In seven Tests and 13 innings at HQ, the Durham all-rounder now has two centuries – also making 101 in 2015 against New Zealand, the team he tormented in the recent World Cup final at the same venue.

He has half-centuries against four out of six opponents, with the only exceptions being Pakistan and India – with a curious blot on his Lord’s record courtesy of a pair against the latter in 2014.

His bowling average at Lord’s is almost exactly in line with that across his Test career and includes his best innings figures in the format, six for 22 against the West Indies in 2017.

Fellow Lord’s specialist Chris Woakes took only three wickets in the match but still averages 11.33 at the famous old ground.

PA

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