3rd Test: Archer gets Harris before rain forces early lunch
Jofra Archer (left) celebrates after dismissing Marcus Harris (AFP Photo)

England fast bowler Jofra Archer dismissed recalled Australia opener Marcus Harris on the first day of the third Test at Headingley on Thursday before rain intervened again in the Ashes. Only four overs were possible before lunch but that was enough time for Australia to be reduced to 12/1 after England captain Joe Root had won the toss under gloomy skies in conditions that promised to assist his pace bowlers.


No sooner had Root called correctly on his Yorkshire home ground, however, then rain delayed the scheduled start by over an hour. When play eventually got underway, conditions remained difficult for the batsmen.

Australia had dropped opener Cameron Bancroft, who had made just 44 runs in four innings, and brought in Harris to partner David Warner at the top of the order after England had enjoyed the better of a rain-affected draw in the second Test at Lord’s.

Both left-handed batsmen struggled against England’s new-ball attack of Stuart Broad and Archer.

The experienced Warner was repeatedly beaten by Broad jagging the ball off a length, while the express Archer, in his second Test, went past Harris’s outside edge. Harris did leg-glance a stray Archer delivery for four and edged him short of Ben Stokes at third slip for another, far less convincing boundary.

But Archer, bowling from around the wicket, squared him up with an 87.3 mph delivery that saw Harris get a thin edge through to wicketkeeeper Jonny Bairstow — like Root appearing on his home ground.

Moments after Harris had fallen for eight, the umpires took the players off the field after deciding that a fresh shower was now too strong for play to continue.

Warner had yet to score after facing 12 balls. Australia, still 1-0 up in the five-match series after their 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston, made three changes to their side in total.

With Steve Smith ruled out with a concussion suffered when hit on the neck by a 92 mph Archer bouncer at Lord’s, Marnus Labuschagne — cricket’s inaugural concussion substitute when replacing Smith in the second Test — took over from the star batsman.

Smith, however, was a huge loss to Australia having made scores of 144, 142 and 92 this series. Meanwhile fast bowler James Pattinson came in for paceman Peter Siddle. England were unchanged after opener Jason Roy was passed fit having been hit on the head batting in the nets on Tuesday.