England were struggling for 34/2 in their first innings at dinner, trailing Australia by 269 runs on the second day of the fifth and final Ashes Test, here on Saturday.
After bowling out Australia for 303 in their first innings, England lost the wickets both openers — Rory Burns (0) and Zak Crawley (18) — in the short period of play before Dinner of the day-night Test.
The returning Burns survived a probing first over from Mitchell Starc, with the Australians even not appealing for what Snicko showed was an edge. However, his luck ran out soon enough when he got run out. Crawley played a shot to the covers and called Burns for a quick single.
Burns was slow to respond and Marnus Labuschagne nailed a direct hit at the striker’s end.
Burns’s opening partner Crawley enjoyed a more positive start, playing three delectable drives to reach 18 off 20 before he was dismissed by Pat Cummins, leaving England in trouble. Thereafter, Dawid Malan (9 not out) and (Joe Root 3 not out) didn’t allow the hosts to take any more wicket before dinner.
Earlier, resuming the day at 241/6, Australia added 62 more runs to their total and lost the remaining four wickets in the morning session.
It was Wood, who gave England their first breakthrough of the day. The pacer bowled a short ball to dismiss Mitchell Starc (3), who top edged the ball, giving a catch to Rory Burns at square leg. Australia skipper Cummins (2) was the next one to get out and it was again a short ball, which brought a wicket for Wood and England.
Australia were eight down for 252 and it seemed impossible for them to cross the 300-run mark at that point of time. But Nathan Lyon played a counter-attacking knock to revive the hosts’ innings.
The Australian No. 10 took on Wood’s short-ball and pulled him away, in front of and behind square, for three sixes, quickly pushing the total to 280, when Chris Woakes removed Alex Carey (24). Lyon finished with 31 off 27 and added another 23 for the final wicket with Scott Boland (10 not out) to take Australia to 303 in their first innings.
Brief scores: Australia 303 in 75.4 overs (Travis Head 101, Cameron Green 74; Stuart Broad 3/59, Mark Wood 3/155) vs England 34/2. England trail by 269 runs.