LONDON (UK): England has plenty of stuff to cheer about as the hosts ended the third day of the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval on Saturday.
At the end of the third day’s play, England was 389/9, with Stuart Broad (2*) and James Anderson (8*) unbeaten. England started the final session at 265/4, with Joe Root (61*) and Jonny Bairstow (34*) unbeaten. The duo brought up their fifty-run partnership. By smashing Josh Hazlewood for a four, Bairstow reached his half-century in 75 balls.
England reached the 300-run mark in 57.5 overs. The hosts managed to extend their lead to 300-plus runs. The duo also completed their hundred-run partnership.
The century stand between Root and Bairstow came to an end at 111 runs when Todd Murphy cleaned bowled Root for 91 off 106 balls, consisting of 11 fours and a six. England was 332/5.
Moeen, walking out for perhaps his final Test innings, joined Bairstow and helped England reach the 350-run mark in 69.5 overs.
Bairstow’d dismissal ended the brief partnership between Moeen and him. The batter was dismissed for 78 in 103 balls, consisting of 11 boundaries. England was 360/6.
Starc went on to remove Moeen (29) and Chris Woakes (1) in quick succession, completing a four-wicket haul, while Murphy took his third wicket by dismissing Mark Wood for nine. England sunk to 379/9 but still had a 367-run lead.
England concluded the day without any further loss of wicket, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad unbeaten.
Earlier, half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Joe Root and an overall quick batting effort by England helped the hosts increase their lead to over 250 runs at the end of the second session during day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval on Saturday.
England ended session two at 265/4, with Root (61*) and Bairstow (34*) unbeaten. They lead by 253 runs.
England started the second session at 130/1, with Zak Crawley (71*) and skipper Ben Stokes (12*) unbeaten.
Skipper Pat Cummins struck early for Australia, dismissing Crawley for a well-made 73 off 76 balls, consisting of nine fours. England was 140/2 after a 78-run partnership between Stokes and Crawley was over.
Stokes and Root carried on with the task of swelling England’s lead. With the help of a majestic boundary from Root, England reached the 150-run mark in 28.4 overs.
Root was playing some attacking cricket, hitting atleast a boundary in nearly every over and smashing Mitchell Marsh for a six and four in the 34th over.
With the help of a four from Root, England reached 200 runs in 38.2 overs. On the next two balls, Root hit Starc for two more boundaries, completing a hat-trick of fours. Stokes and Root brought up their fifty-run stand as well.
Root reached his 60th Test fifty in just 42 balls.
Two balls later, Todd Murphy’s spin struck gold for the Aussies and Stokes was caught by Pat Cummins for 42 off 67 balls, consisting of three fours and a six. England was 213/3 at that point in just 39.3 overs.
Josh Hazlewood got his first wicket of the innings by dismissing Harry Brook for just seven soon. England was 222/4 in 40.5 overs.
Following this, Root and Jonny Bairstow continued the onslaught on Aussie bowlers, helping their side reach the end of session two without any loss of wicket.
England batters dominated the entire first session to pull themselves back in the game on Day 3 of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval on Saturday.
At the end of the first session, England registered a score of 130/1 in 25 overs, with Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes unbeaten on scores of 71* and 12* respectively. England lead by 118 runs.
England kicked off Day 3 with Zack Crawley finding the fence on the very first ball off Mitchell Starc. Duckett struck two consecutive fours in the final two balls of the over to begin the day with 13 runs in the first over.
Australia’s 12-run lead vanished in thin air and they found themselves behind a single run. They maintained a healthy scoring run rate in the next coming overs to put the hosts in a comfortable position.
Their partnership ended in the 17th over for a score of 79. Starc got his lines right with three out-swingers, a straight one to unsettle the batter. He got better of Duckett with another off-swing delivery which was met with a thick edge and ended straight into the gloves of the keeper.
Surprisingly, skipper Ben Stokes came in at number three to fill the vacant position which was created due to Moeen Ali’s groin injury on Day 1.
After the arrival of Stokes on the pitch, England didn’t face many difficulties as they managed to maintain their scoring rate above five.
Brief Scores: England: 283 and 389/4 (Joe Root, Joe Root 61*, Josh Hazlewood 1/53) against Australia: 295 (Steve Smith 71, Usman Khawaja 47, Chris Woakes 3/61). (ANI)