By Abhijit Banare
Dec 15, 2013
Australia continued to pile on runs as they reached 123 for no loss at tea on Day Three of the third Ashes 2013-14 Test. Australia now have an overall lead of 257 runs. David Warner is unbeaten on 81 and Chris Rogers, accompanying him is on 42. Matt Prior’s had a tough time behind the stumps which further dented England’s opportunities. He missed two wicket-taking opportunities to send back the openers.
Resuming Day Three on 180 for four, the Australian pacers ran through the England batting to bundle them out for 251 thereby taking a 134-run lead at lunch. England’s misery began when Stuart Broad didn’t turn up on the field after being hit on the foot by an express yorker by Mitchell Johnson. As a result, Tim Bresnan had to partner James Anderson with the new ball.
The openers were watchful against an accurate bowling from the pacers. But as the overs passed, Warner loosened up and went for his strokes. England though had a golden opportunity to send back Warner before he could explode. In the ninth over, Warner came down the track against Graeme Swann and missed the ball completely. Prior behind the wicket failed to judge the bounce of the ball and dropped it. The left-handed batsman then strokes a few boundaries to increase the tempo of the innings. Swann though got some turn from the rough patches in front of the wicket.
While the openers settled in, Broad was taken to the hospital for an x-ray leaving Cook with limited choice. He kept shuffling the bowlers and the fielders around hoping for a magical breakthrough, but Warner continued to plunder runs. He got to his half-century in 54 balls. In the process, Rogers who was subdued for a long time started to play positively. With runs flowing from both ends, the lead ballooned piling on the pressure on England. After a while, James Anderson created one more opportunity which was floored behind he wicket.
Anderson got Rogers to tentatively play at a ball and the edge flew towards first slip. However, the angle of the delivery was good enough for keeper Prior to his left and take the catch. Caught in two minds, skipper Cook at first slip, hastily attempted to catch it with one hand and floored it.
Within quick time, Warner had plundered a few runs and got close to his ton. England are slowly losing the plot here and the final session will determine how big a target they will be staring at to keep their Ashes hopes alive.
Australia 385 (David Warner 60, Steve Smith 111, Brad Haddin 55; Stuart Broad 3 for 100, James Anderson 2 for 60) and 123 for no loss (David Warner 81*, Chris Rogers 42*) lead England 251 (Alastair Cook 72, Michael Carberry 43; Ryan Harris 3 for 48, Peter Siddle 3 for 46) by 257 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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