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Ashes Day 3: Ian Bell, Joe Root extend England's lead against Australia

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 10 July 2015, 21:27 IST

After Chris Rodgers' belligerent knock of 95 runs powered Australia to 264/5 at the end of Day 2, the visitors lost their remaining five wickets for a mere 44 runs on Day 3. Australia were eventually bowled out for 308 runs in 84.5 overs - 122 runs behind England's total of 430.

Stuart Broad ended Shane Watson's resistance after trapping the right-hander in front of the stumps. Watson was dismissed for 30 runs as England appeared threatening against the Australian tail.

Nathan Lyon soon followed Watson back in hut after being dismissed by Mark Wood as the visitors lost their seventh wicket. Sensing Australia's downfall, Brad Haddin took the aggressive route while scoring some crucial runs. But, James Anderson came back into the attack to end Haddin's blitzkrieg. The last two wickets of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc came in successive overs.

Anderson, who took 3 wickets for 43 runs, was the pick of the English bowlers. Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali and Mark Wood took wickets each, while Ben Stokes had one scalp to his name.

With a 122-run lead on board, England began their second innings with Alastair Cook (12) and Adam Lyth (37) at the crease. The duo had only added 17 runs when Mitchell Starc sent Cook back in the hut. Soon, Josh Hazlewood scalped Gary Ballance for a duck in his first over.

Lyth and Ian Bell (60) tried to steady the innings but Nathan Lyon got rid of the England opener to keep the hosts in check. Bell, who scored just 56 runs in his last nine innings, notched up his fifty while adding 97 runs alongside Joe Root for the fourth wicket. Bell was eventually clean bowled by Mitchell Johnson in the 40th over.

With Root (44) and Ben Stokes (0) at crease, England were reeling at 170/4 in 41 overs on Day 3.

Fall of wickets on Day 3

Australian innings

71.4 overs: Stuart Broad got Shane Watson (30) out lbw on a pitched up delivery. Watson was looking to work it towards the onside but was trapped in front of the stumps.

74.6 overs: Mark Wood got Nathan Lyon (6) out lbw on a fuller delivery. Lyon was looking to shove it down the leg side, but missed it as the ball struck his pad right in front of the stumps.

82.5 overs: James Anderson got Brad Haddin (22) out caught by the wicket-keeper. Haddin went for the cut shot and got an outside edge that went straight into the hands of Jos Buttler who took it comfortably.

83.2 overs: Stuart Broad got Mitchell Johnson out caught at short midwicket. Johnson was looking to flick it past the midwicket but sent the ball towards Gary Ballance who doesn't drop those.

84.5 overs: James Anderson got Mitchell Starc out caught at third slip. Starc was lured into the drive to force an outside edge that travelled towards Joe Root who took the catch in a diving effort.

England innings

6.6 overs: Mitchell Starc got Alastair Cook (12) out caught at backward point. Cook was looking to drive away from the body but sliced it in the air for Nathan Lyon to take a superb low catch.

9.6 overs: Josh Hazlewood got Gary Ballance (0) out caught by the wicket-keeper. Ballance was late in his decision to abort an attempt to play as the ball took a thin edge of the bat and went straight into the hands of Brad Haddin.

19.4 overs: Nathan Lyon got Adam Lyth out caught in the slip cordon. Lyth was looking to defend but then spun back sharply to take an outside edge that went towards Michael Clarke who took a splendid one-handed catch.

Day 2 review

While chasing England's imposing total of 430 runs in the first innings, Australia found support in Chris Rodgers' gritty knock of 95 runs to end Day 2 at 264/5. The visitors lost David Warner (17), Steven Smith (33), Michael Clarke (38) and Adam Voges (31), but Rodgers continued to score runs from the other end.

Rodgers, who was dismissed by Mark Wood, failed to convert his fifty into a hundred on the seventh consecutive occasion in Tests. Despite missing out on a well-deserved hundred, Rodgers still joined a select band with a seventh successive knock of 50-plus, matching West Indians Everton Weekes and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Zimbabwean Andy Flower and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara.

Smith and Clarke were coaxed into errors by the England spinner Moeen Ali following Warner's dismissal at the hands of James Anderson early in the day. And, a rare lapse of concentration by Adam Voges in the final session provided Ben Stokes an opportunity to get his name in the list of wicket-takers.

For England, Moeen Ali took two crucial wickets to keep Australia in check. James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood shared one wicket apiece.

Day 1 review

England won the toss and decided to bat first in the overcast conditions. However, the hosts got off to a bad start losing three wickets for a mere 43 runs in the first session of play. Reeling at 43/3, the hosts desperately needed a partnership and middle-order batsmen Joe Root (134) partnered Gary Ballance (61) to turn the tide for England.

The duo added 153 runs for the fourth wicket, also the highest partnership for England in the first innings. Ballance was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood right after Tea while Root's sublime innings was cut short by Mitchell Starc. But, Moeen Ali (77) and Ben Stokes (52) ensured England finished off Day 1 at a respectable score of 343/7 in 88 overs.

For Australia, Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers with his tally of three wickets in his 22 overs. His fellow seamer Mitchell Starc also took three wickets, including the big wicket of Joe Root, in his spell of 19 overs. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon took one wicket in his 17 overs on Day 1.

Disclaimer: Please note that this article has been updated till the 41st over in England's 2nd innings on Day 3.

First published: 10 July 2015, 21:28 IST
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.