Live Cricket News: As Australia tightened their grip on the pink-ball Test on day three in Adelaide, England experienced their third catastrophic batting collapse in as many Ashes innings, with their lead standing at 282 at stumps.
Dawid Malan (80) and Joe Root (62), who extended their stand to 138 and took England’s score from 17-2 to 150-2 shortly after the dinner break, ensured Australia went wicketless in the first session.
However, Australia took four wickets for 19 runs when Root, Malan, Ollie Pope (5), and Jos Buttler (0) were all caught playing careless strokes, and England was eventually bowled out for 236 runs in 84.1 overs in immaculate circumstances.
After being torpedoed for 147 runs and then losing eight second-innings wickets for 74 runs in last week’s nine-wicket loss at The Gabba in Brisbane, England’s batting collapse continues.
In Adelaide on Saturday, Root’s side trailed by 237 runs in the first innings, but Australia captain Steve Smith decided against enforcing the follow-on, with the hosts finishing on 45-1 in their second innings.
Marcus Harris (21no) and David Warner (13) were unfazed by England’s seamers, with Warner’s dismissal coming via a run out following a mix-up with Harris, resulting in Michael Neser (2no) being brought in as nightwatchman.
Mitchell Starc finished with 4-37 and Nathan Lyon with 3-58, while Cameron Green – who dismissed Root and Ben Stokes (34) – took 2-24 for England’s final eight first-innings wickets.
Australia is on track to take a 2-0 lead against England in the next two days, with England likely hoping for a lot of rain in Adelaide on Sunday.
After Rory Burns (6) and Haseeb Hameed (4) fell under the lights against the new pink ball after Australia declared on 473-9, a lightning strike came to England’s rescue late on day two, terminating play early.
As the absences of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood began to show for Australia, Root and Malan found batting much easier in the daylight during Saturday’s early stages, with the skipper completing his 52nd Test fifty and Malan his ninth, off 91 and 86 deliveries respectively.
Malan settled down after a few jittery inside-edges and produced a plethora of superb offside strokes, while Root’s boundaries featured a one-bounce four off Lyon after moving down the ground.
Root, on the other hand, failed to convert his eighth Test fifty in Australia into a first century in the country, when he fiddled outside off stump and edged a Green delivery through to Smith in the cordon shortly after exceeding 1,600 runs for the year in Test cricket.
Malan followed soon after, with Smith at slip once more as the left-hander struggled for space on Starc’s cut, while Pope flicked Lyon to the short leg after advancing down the wicket, two balls after successfully overturning a bat-pad dismissal with the ball hitting elbow, not bat.
Buttler was dismissed for a 15-ball duck, edging through to Warner after driving lazily at Starc. Buttler had dropped Marnus Labuschagne on 21 and 95 on day one.
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