Best of the second Ashes Test: Jofra Archer stars, while Lord's turns red for Ruth Strauss
By Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 19/08/19 4:00pm
The inclement weather won out as England and Australia battled to a draw in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.
Ben Stokes struck his seventh Test century on day five to ensure any hint of an England collapse was snuffed out, before Jofra Archer gave Joe Root's side hopes of an unlikely victory with two quick wickets.
However, concussion substitute Marnus Labuschagne's 59 helped the visitors limp out of Lord's with a hard-fought draw and maintain their 1-0 series lead.
Australia were without Smith on Sunday after the batsman suffered delayed concussion from the blow to the neck he received from Archer the day before, with his participation in the third Test now in doubt.
So, what did we learn from an action-packed, rain-shortened game in the capital? Here is a look back on five of the talking points...
Archer vs Smith lives up to the hype
Ahead of the second Test much was made of the battle between debutant Archer and England's nemesis Smith.
The answer to getting the enigmatic batsman out seemed, ahead of the match, to rest on the shoulders of Archer - who had yet to have bowled a ball in Test cricket to that point.
It took but a few balls for Archer to reproduce the bowling he showcased during the World Cup in his new whites - cutting Cameron Bancroft in half in his first over of Test cricket.
But it took until Saturday, in front of a full house at Lord's, for the much-anticipated battle between two exceptional talents - and it did not disappoint.
Fresh and raring to go, Archer sent down a searing three-over spell in which he consistently topped over 90mph, testing Smith's resolve to defend in his own flamboyant style.
Smith begin well enough, working the pace bowler away for a couple of singles and flaying him through the off side for a boundary, but he was struck on the forearm attempting to duck a bouncer as Archer turned up the heat.
Then Smith looked to take Archer on, top-edging a rapid bouncer away for four as the noise from the spectators in the ground went up another notch - Smith ending another bristling over from Archer by just about fending off a 96mph delivery. But it would soon get more painful…
Concussion rules Smith out
Perhaps the pivotal moment in the Test came when Smith, having reached 80, was struck on the unprotected part of his neck by a short ball from Archer.
He immediately fell to the floor as medical personnel from both sides ran out to help the batsman as the England players instantly surrounded him.
After going through concussion protocol on the field, Smith retired hurt but he returned to the field nine overs later once Peter Siddle fell, striking three boundaries in eight balls before being dismissed for 92.
Cricket Australia explained the batsman had passed all his assessments before being allowed to continue his innings but, the following morning, Smith reported headaches and was removed from the match with delayed concussion.
A concussion substitute, a new rule put in place for the start of the Ashes series, was requested with South Africa-born Labuschagne given the green light to replace Smith.
The 25-year-old performed admirably with a dogged half-century, having been smashed on the grille by another rip-snorting Archer bouncer second ball.
England's batting troubles persist
There has not been an England Test go by in recent times without the side's batsmen struggling and this match was no different.
Jason Roy's place at the top of the order came under further scrutiny as he was caught behind for a duck in the first innings and made just two in the second, while Joe Denly's position at No 4 remains far from cemented after he made 30 and 26 but failed to kick-on.
Former England batting coach Mark Ramprakash told the Ashes Debate that he felt a focus on white-ball cricket ahead of the successful World Cup campaign was to the detriment of Test batting, with top-order skills being 'eroded' due to the change in England's priorities as well as four-day matches being pushed to the margins of the summer.
Ramprakash named Warwickshire's Dom Sibley, Kent's Zak Crawley and Surrey's Ollie Pope as the batsmen closest to earning an England call-up, yet Sibley fell for a duck and Crawley made only five in the most recent County Championship round that begun on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow's battling half-century in the first innings raised questions over whether he was batting too low at No 7 but the Yorkshireman told Sky Sports that he is happy with this position in the line-up.
"[Joe Root] has said he wants me to keep and bat at seven now and I'm really happy with the way that my keeping has been going - I've been working really, really hard on that over a long period of time," said Bairstow. "That's the end of it, really. I'm happy to be doing that role in the side.
"There aren't many people who have kept wicket and batted in the top five. Obviously, we are fortunate that we've got some all-rounders who can bat at five, six and seven and beyond."
Johnson provides fast bowling masterclass
With plenty of rain around during the second Test, there was time for not one but two cricket greats to explain how they fine-tuned their talents in The Zone at Lord's.
Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson castled Sky Cricket expert Nasser Hussain with a brilliant in-swinger with the first ball of his Sky Cricket masterclass.
Johnson - who claimed 313 wickets in 73 Tests after his focus switched from tennis to cricket - also bowled at Kumar Sangakkara, a man whose finger still bears the damage of a Johnson delivery a few years ago!
The left-arm slinger explained whether pace can be taught, or you have to be born with it, plus revealed the grip he used to adopt and how he looked to swing the ball in England.
Plus, former wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara spoke about where to stand behind the stumps and how to maximise your chances of taking the ball.
He also explained the ideal place for the ball to go into your gloves, how crucial it is to have a solid foundation, and the importance of good posture, particularly against spin.
Ruth Strauss Foundation Day turns Lord's red
On day two of the second Test, Lord's turned red in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
Lord's Cricket Ground, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Marlebone Cricket Club (MCC) supported the foundation, which was set up by former England captain Andrew Strauss in honour of his wife Ruth, who died from a rare form of lung cancer in December 2018.
Players from both sides wore special commemorative shirts including the Ruth Strauss Foundation logo, with red numbers on the backs while red caps were also donned.
Strauss' sons, Sam and Luca, also rang the five-minute bell which raised awareness of lung cancer and also generated funds for the Strauss Foundation, which provides for research as well as emotional and well-being support to patients and their families.
Andrew Strauss said: "It's a special opportunity to raise the profile and awareness about the Foundation and also to pay testament to Ruth as well.
"This is a celebration of her life and it's just amazing to see the cricket world come together to support what we are trying to do.
"It's going to make a difference to people's lives and that's why it's such a special and close thing to our heart as well."
Watch day one of the third Ashes Test between England and Australia, at Headingley, live on Sky Sports The Ashes (channel 404) and Main Event (channel 401) from 10am on Thursday.
You can also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on our rolling blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.