Despite suffering a serious calf injury just two days earlier, Lyon defied the odds, barely able to walk, and emerged as a surprising force at the crease.
His valiant effort in partnership with fast bowler Mitchell Starc not only added crucial runs to Australia’s lead over England but also served as a testament to Lyon’s commitment to his team.
A Bizarre Innings
Lyon’s entrance as number 11 batsman in his 100th consecutive test match left spectators in awe at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground. Facing a barrage of bouncers from the English bowlers, Lyon appeared vulnerable, yet he showcased remarkable composure and skill.
Despite his limited mobility, Lyon managed to play some elegant shots, although his inability to run between the wickets meant boundaries were the only way to add to the score.
A partnership of 15 runs ensued, with Lyon contributing a boundary to the total. The highlight of their partnership was a resounding six from Mitchell Starc, which narrowly missed being a maximum due to a spectacular piece of fielding by England’s substitute fielder Rehan Ahmed.
In a moment of confusion, Lyon defied the odds by hopping between the wickets to complete a single before collapsing in exhaustion.
Lyon’s courageous efforts allowed Australia to set England a formidable target of 371 runs for victory, twelve more than the remarkable chase achieved by England in 2019 at Headingley.
Lyon’s belief in the significance of even a small partnership in an Ashes series demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the team’s cause. In true Australian fashion, Lyon selflessly stated, “I wanted to bat. It was my call. I knew the risks, but I’d do anything for this team.”
Quoting Lyon, “I’m proud of myself for going out there and doing that. If it was tomorrow, I’d do it again, and again and again and again.” These words capture the indomitable spirit of a player willing to sacrifice personal comfort for the greater good.
Words Exchanged with James Anderson
Before taking to the square, Lyon shared a brief exchange with England bowler James Anderson. When asked if he was being foolish for batting in his condition, Lyon’s response was simply, “Yes.”
This witty exchange showcased Lyon’s ability to maintain a sense of humor and determination even in the face of adversity.
Lyon’s heroic innings served as a tremendous source of inspiration for his teammates. Both Mitchell Starc and captain Pat Cummins, fueled by Lyon’s bravery, unleashed a devastating bowling attack that reduced England to 45-4 by the end of the day.
On the fifth day, Australia won the match by 43 despite the heroics from Ben Stokes who scored 155 runs. The fifth day was full of contemplating moments as Bairstow was run out by Alex Carey in an uncanny situation.