Ashes 2013: Joe Root’s half-century guides England to 97/1 at lunch on Day 3 of 5th Test

After starting the innings a little slowly, Joe Root picked up the pace to score his third half-century © Getty Images

By Shrikant Shankar

Aug 23, 2013

Joe Root scored his third half-century as England were at 97 for one at lunch on Day Three of the fifth Ashes 2013 Test at The Oval. Alastair Cook was the only man to be dismissed in the morning session on Friday. England trail Australia’s 492 for nine declared by 395 runs.

England began the day with their overnight score of 32 for no loss. Root got things going as he clipped a straight delivery from Ryan Harris through mid-wicket to get the first four of Day Three. Cook then played a square drive to a full and wide delivery from Harris to get his first four of the day. Cook and Root got to their first 50-run partnership of the series.

There was a big appeal for leg-before as Cook played across the line to a straight delivery from Harris and missed. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena said not out but Australia captain Michael Clarke asked for the review. Replays showed that the ball would have hit the stumps, but it pitched just outside leg-stump.

Once the drinks break was over, Cook lost concentration and edged a wide delivery from Harris to Brad Haddin behind the stumps. Haddin took a good low catch to his left. It was another poor score for Cook in the series. Haddin now needs just three more dismissals to break Rodney Marsh’s world record of 28 dismissals for a Test series as a wicketkeeper.

Jonathan Trott was the new batsman and the Australia bowlers targeted his pads as he has a tendency to fall over while trying to play the ball through the leg side. But he survived through to lunch. Root on the other hand looked more composed as his innings went on. He scored a few fours and then pulled a short delivery from Peter Siddle for a single to reach his half-century.

The umpires called for lunch with England’s score at 97 for one. Root was batting on 52 and Trott was batting on nine.

Brief scores:

Australia 492 for 9 decl. (Shane Watson 176, Steven Smith 138*, Ryan Harris 33; James Anderson 4 for 95, Graeme Swann 2 for 95) lead England 97 for 1 (Alastair Cook 25, Joe Root 52*) by 395 runs.

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(Shrikant Shankar previously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)