Friday, July 12, 2024

Ashes 2023: England close Day Three on 27/0 in chase of 251 after bowling out Australia for 224

Though Rain wiped out the first two sessions on Day Three of the ongoing third Ashes Test at Headingley, it didn’t stop the action from moving at a frenetic pace in the one session of play possible on Saturday.

In the end, England reached 27/0 at stumps in a chase of 251 after their bowlers made good use of the overcast conditions to bowl out Australia for 224. Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley remained unbeaten on 18 and 9 respectively for England to leave the required runs to 224.

Resuming from 116/4 and with their lead at 142 runs, the total could have been a lot less for Australia if Travis Head hadn’t struck a magnificent 77 in conditions that were very tricky for batting.

Chris Woakes (3-68) dismissed first-innings centurion Mitchell Marsh (nicked behind) and Alex Carey (chopped onto his stumps) in quick succession, while Mark Wood (3-66) took out Mitchell Starc and captain Pat Cummins to reduce Australia to 170/8.

Australia’s lead was standing at 196 at that point, but Head and Todd Murphy (11) put on a crucial stand of 41 runs for the ninth wicket before Murphy was pinned lbw by Broad (3-45). Broad eventually ended Australia’s resistance by having Head caught at deep midwicket, shortly after the left-handed batter smacked Wood for back-to-back sixes.

Head’s heavy hitting while batting with the tail at the end ensured Australia crossed 200, a score that seemed difficult to reach when they were eight down.

A win for England will keep the Ashes alive while a victory for Australia will give them their first Ashes series triumph in the country in 22 years.

Brief scores:

Australia 263 & 224 all out in 67.1 overs (Travis Head 77, Usman Khawaja 43; Stuart Broad 3-45, Chris Woakes 3-68) lead England 237 & 27 for no loss in 5 overs (Ben Duckett 18 not out, Zak Crawley 9 not out) by 224 runs

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