By Abhijit Banare
Dec 15, 2013
Australia took a massive 134-run lead at lunch as they dismissed England for just 251 runs on Day Three of the third Ashes 2013-14 Test at Perth. The Aussie pacers ripped through the opposition batting with their consistency and pace.
The pacers were upbeat towards the end of the second day having bagged the wicket of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen. It was a crucial third morning for England as a partnership between Ian Bell and Ben Stokes would have revived the visitors and taken them closer to 385 — Australia’s first innings total. However, the Australian pacers were relentless troubling the batsmen all through the morning. And with the new ball in their hand mid-way through the session, a revival was a tough ask for England.
Ryan Harris was the first to get the breakthrough by dismissing Bell leg-before for 15. Umpire Marais Erasmus had turned down the appeal but it was eventually overturned with the help of a review. The other overnight batsman Stokes too didn’t last long going for a shot outside off giving Mitchell Johnson his first wicket of the match.
The pacers were in no mood to let the tempo drift away as they kept testing the batsmen. Moreover, they have run through the England lower order more than once in this series. England’s focus was further disrupted when Johnson’s over-the-wicket delivery hit the cracks and zipped further away from the right-handed Matt Prior. He was finally taken by Peter Siddle with the bottom edge flying towards the keeper. At 207 for seven, it was all about reducing the inevitable first innings deficit.
As Stuart Broad walked up to bat, the Australians especially Johnson was all pumped up. Johnson got his second wicket with a toe-crushing yorker. Perhaps, Broad’s focus was so much on the fiery short ball that he missed the yorker completely and was adjudged leg-before for five. Just over an hour into the third morning, England’s hopes were punctured as they are yet again facing the possibility of another gigantic score to chase in the fourth innings.
It was a consistent performance from the pacers keeping up the pressure on England right through. Soon Tim Bresnan (21) was dismissed caught behind followed by No 11 James Anderson for two. Post lunch, England bowlers will have to be right on target to restrict Australia and pick early wickets if they have to fight their way back into this match.
Australia 385 (David Warner 60, Steve Smith 111, Brad Haddin 55; Stuart Broad 3 for 100, James Anderson 2 for 60) lead England 251 (Alastair Cook 72, Michael Carberry 43; Ryan Harris 3 for 48, Peter Siddle 3 for 46) by 134 runs.
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)
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