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Cricket-Smith and Labuschagne exits give England hope of staying in Ashes contention


By Peter Hall

LEEDS, England (Reuters) – Key wickets late in the day helped put England in with a chance of staying in contention in the Ashes series in their must-win second test, Australia finishing day two on 116-4 with a second-innings lead of 142.

More heroics from captain Ben Stokes single-handedly got England within 26 runs of Australia’s first innings total after a big-hitting 80, the hosts skittled out for 237.

Despite losing the early wicket of David Warner for one, to Stuart Broad for the 17th time in the veteran bowler’s test career, Australia looked to be in control and coasting towards generating a commanding lead.

But the cheap wickets of experienced duo Marnus Labuschagne (33) and Steve Smith (2) dragged England back into the match, before first innings centurion Mitchell Marsh steered Australia through to the close of another thrilling day of Ashes action.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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