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21 Sep 2019 21:19
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Cricket

    Australia in Ashes box seat after skittling England on day two of third Test, backed up by Marnus Labuschagne

    Australia bowls England out for just 67 — its eighth-lowest total in Ashes history — before building a 283-run lead on the back of Marnus Labuschagne's third straight half-century.


    Australia's chances of retaining the Ashes have received an enormous boost on day two of the third Test, which saw England skittled for just 67 — its lowest score at Headingley.

    Josh Hazlewood led the demolition of England with 5-23 in the morning, but he was ably supported by Pat Cummins (3-30) and James Pattinson (2-9) as they ran through England inside 28 overs.

    England's meagre score — its eighth-lowest Ashes score ever and lowest since the Invincibles tour of 1948 — meant Australia, despite scoring just 179 on day one, started its second innings with a 112-run lead, which became 283 runs by stumps, thanks to Marnus Labuschagne's (53 not out) third straight half-century.

    The tourists were brought back down to Earth from the jubilation of the bowling effort, when David Warner was trapped LBW by Stuart Broad for a duck in the second over.

    Marcus Harris (19) and under-pressure first drop Usman Khawaja (23) played some tidy strokes as they put on 26 in 10 overs before the arrival of spinner Jack Leach tore them apart, ripping his first ball out of the footmarks and through a yawning gap between Harris's bat and pad, collecting the top of off stump.

    Khawaja's attempts to get on top of the bowling also brought about his downfall, when he tried an expansive drive off Chris Woakes, only to nick through to second slip, casting a shadow over his selection in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

    Travis Head, another man whose spot in the team is in question with Steve Smith set to return for the Manchester clash, made it to the tea break alongside Labuschagne, who has secured his spot since his call-up as Smith's concussion replacement midway through the Lord's Test.

    But, having guided his team to a 200-run lead, Labuschagne's innings should have come to an end when he edged Ben Stokes straight into Joe Root's breadbasket at first slip, but the English skipper grassed the simplest of chances after a couple of juggles.

    Stokes got a reward in his next over, doing it all himself to clean bowl Head (25) with a perfect yorker, leaving Australia 4-97 with work still to be done to build an insurmountable lead.

    But Stokes, who was being asked to bowl more than usual as Jofra Archer struggled with cramp in his thigh, had more bad luck coming as Labuschagne built another partnership with Wade.

    First Labuschagne nicked through to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow off what was revealed on review to be a front-foot no ball, and then he manufactured another outside edge with a superb in-swinger from around the wicket, only for Bairstow to drop the difficult chance diving low to his right.

    Wade (33) was eventually undone by Stokes, who slumped to the ground in exhaustion as Bairstow completed another dismissal, with skipper Tim Paine's (0) stay lasting just two balls before he was caught by his opposite number at gully.

    But Labuschagne remained Australia's rock as he passed 50 for the third straight time in the series, finishing the day not out alongside Pattinson (2 not out), with the tourists 6-171.

    England's diabolical morning one for the history books

    On a beautiful, sunny Leeds morning, the expectation was England would settle in for a long day of batting. The reality could hardly have been more different.

    Jason Roy was the first to go, and the first scalp for the sensational Hazlewood. As is his wont, Roy nibbled at a good delivery and edged to Warner at first slip, who took a sharp catch.

    Struggling captain Root fell first ball in his last time at the crease, and lasted only one more this time round, also edging Hazlewood to Warner who took an even better catch this time around.

    Australia's bowling was excellent, and England's batting had no answer. Tim Paine's team have decided Rory Burns has a weakness to the short ball, and so it proved again when a Cummins bouncer found glove on the way through to the wicketkeeper.

    Stokes now loomed as England's last remaining hope. That hope was to be quickly extinguished as he impulsively chased a wide one from Pattinson, edging yet again to the now-safe hands of Warner at first slip.

    Stokes's departure made it 4-34, but it was soon to get worse. Joe Denly's knock of 12 was the highest of the day for England, but wasn't pretty on the eye — Denly scratched around for 49 balls before nicking Pattinson through to Paine.

    The deluge continued when Bairstow edged to — who else — Warner, who was having a catching day for the ages, leaving England six down at lunch.

    Some may have thought the break came at the wrong time for Australia, but Cummins disagreed — he caught Woakes's glove with the first ball back from the interval, presenting Paine with another catch.

    Hazlewood's first ball back from lunch was equally as effective as he drew Jos Buttler into inexplicably chipping a sitter to Khawaja at short cover.

    Jofra Archer decided counter-attack was the order of the day as Cummins peppered him with bouncers, but it worked only until he left his bat pointing upright while ducking one, glancing a catch to Paine again.

    England's misery was swiftly ended by Hazlewood, who completed his five-wicket haul by blasting Leach's leg stump out.

    Look back at all the action from day two in our live blog.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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