In a thrilling encounter during the fifth Ashes 2023 test at Kennington Oval in London, the English bowlers, led by the experienced pacer Stuart Broad, made a stunning comeback against Australia on Day 2. One particular moment that caught everyone’s attention was Broad’s “Black Magic” mind game that led to the dismissal of well-set Marnus Labuschagne.
Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja were holding the fort for Australia, frustrating the English pacers in the first session on Day 2. Despite bowling brilliantly, the English team couldn’t break their partnership. That’s when Stuart Broad decided to use an unusual tactic to break their concentration.
Between the overs, Broad flipped the bails, leaving everyone puzzled, including Labuschagne himself, who smiled at his batting partner, Khawaja. The very next delivery from Mark Wood saw Labuschagne edging the ball, and Joe Root at first slip took an incredible one-handed catch to dismiss him.
Labuschagne appeared disappointed as he was looking well-set on the pitch, but the English fielders were jubilant after finally breaking the partnership. Commentator Nasser Hussain even called Broad’s tactic “magic with the bails.”
England Cricket shared the video of Labuschagne’s dismissal on Twitter, hailing Broad’s “Mind Games Extraordinaire.”
Following Labuschagne’s dismissal, England gained momentum, with Stuart Broad taking quick wickets of Usman Khawaja and Travis Head, while James Anderson got the in-form Mitchell Marsh out.
Although Alex Carey and Mitchell Starc couldn’t contribute much with the bat, Steve Smith formed a crucial partnership with skipper Pat Cummins, helping Australia get close to England’s first innings total.
After Smith’s dismissal, Pat Cummins forged another vital partnership with Todd Murphy for the 9th wicket, with Cummins scoring 36 runs and Murphy contributing 34 runs.
In the end, the Australian side managed to post a first innings total of 295 runs in 103.1 overs on Day 2, taking a slim first innings lead of 12 runs. England’s Chris Woakes emerged as the leading wicket-taker with three wickets.
The dramatic and strategic moments in the match, especially Stuart Broad’s “Black Magic” dismissal, added excitement and intensity to the fiercely contested Ashes clash.
Watch Stuart Broad’s Black Magic Video
𝗡𝗮𝗺𝗲: Stuart Broad
𝗢𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: Mind Games Extraordinaire
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 28, 2023