The first Ashes test lies perfectly in the balance. It was a day meant for the bowlers as seamers from both the sides left an impression on Day 3 of the first Ashes test.
Initially, James Anderson put on display a great exhibition of swing bowling as he was simply magical with the new ball. Watching Anderson bowl was like viewing a professional artist at work. His one certain over to Brad Haddin was so far the best over of the game. Anderson swung the ball back in viciously for a couple of deliveries and then got one to move away, thus taking his outside edge.
Australia fought back in style as well as they dismissed England for 289 by the end of the third day. Mitchell Starc, despite carrying an injury was brilliant as he bowled with a big heart.
In this article, we glance through the five things that outlined the course of day 3 –
1. England quickly dismissing Australia:
The England bowlers were simply phenomenal in the morning session. Australia began the day at 264-5, and soon within 14.5 overs, they were dismissed. James Anderson was lethal as the Aussie batsmen had no answers to his venom. Anderson and Broad struck twice and Wood struck once as they shared the remaining five wickets. This show held a great boost for England as they were able to get a lead of 122.
2. Bell slowly getting back to form:
Ian Bell had been in dismal form till the first innings. However, that was that! Bell showed glimpses of his good old self in the second innings as he made a fine half century. His innings was filled with an array of delightful strokes. Even though Bell might not have made a ton, his knock meant that his form could be crucial in the remainder of the series.
3. Root once again playing an integral knock:
Run making is the easiest task for Joe Root it seems. After a belligerent ton in the first innings, Root once again made a healthy contribution in the second innings. England were in some trouble when Root collaborated along with Ian Bell. Root once again played a brisk innings as he made 60 off 89. His innings was extremely crucial as it allowed England to extend the lead further.
4. Australia striking regularly:
The Aussie bowlers bowled well in the second innings and struck at regular intervals. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were once again brilliant. After breaking the 97 run stand between Root and Bell, the Australian bowlers got wickets at the crucial junctures. Ben Stokes was once again looking very positive, before Mitchell Starc dismissed him for the second time in the game. Johnson too got his first wicket of the game as he dismissed Ian Bell with a beauty. The wickets of Buttler and Broad too were taken in quick succession. England were eventually dismissed for 289.
5. Wood’s crucial knock:
Australia could have easily wrapped up England when Stuart Broad was dismissed. But then, Mark Wood played a counterattacking knock to defy the visitors. It was solely the courtesy of Wood’s fireworks that England could add 44 crucial runs since the dismissal of Stuart Broad. Wood remained not out on 32 off 18 as England added some precious runs. The true significance of the runs will be understood only at the end of the game.