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Aus vs Eng: Gabba Test, Ashes 2021-22: Root, Malan 50s blunt Australia's march; Eng still 58 behind

Joe Root, Dawid Malan put up unbeaten 159-run partnership for third wicket

Aus vs Eng: Gabba Test, Ashes 2021-22: Joe Root, Dawid Malan fifties blunt Australia's march; England still 58 behind
Root-Malan put up 159* runs partnership for third wicket against Australia (©CA/CricketAustralia/GettyImages)

Brief Scores: Australia 425 all-out (Head 152, Labuschagne 74, Robinson 3/58) lead England 147 (Jos Buttler 39, Ollie Pope 35, Cummins 5/38) & 220 for 2 (Root 86*, Malan 80*, Cummins 1/43)

Travis Head and Mitchell Starc resumed play for Australia today morning. England pacers Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson tested opponent batters with incisive fast bowling spells.

Head continued his previous day batting carnage. His partner Starc smacked a few boundaries in the morning before getting caught by Rory Burns on the score of 35. Next batter Nathan Lyon also cracked two boundaries, however, he pulled a short ball off Wood which went straight in the air and was caught by Ollie Robinson.

Travis Head reached 150, Australia made 425

On the other hand, Head reached 150 by hammering a boundary towards deep mid-wicket. As Head created a room for big stroke, Wood produced a piercing yorker on the middle stump to shatter the stumps of the batter. Head amassed 152 runs off just 148 deliveries comprising of 14 fours and four sixes. With the wicket of Head, England bowlers wrapped up Australia’s innings on 425.

Australia picked both openers early

After England conceded a huge lead of 278 runs, their openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns started the proceedings in the third innings of the game. Both openers managed to survive till Lunch against intimidating spells bowled by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

However, Australia skipper Pat Cummins gave the first blow to visitors by bowling a menacing short ball, which brushed the gloves of Burns and wicketkeeper Alex Carey grabbed the ball. Burns could make only 13 runs off 27 balls. One down batter Dawid Malan got beaten a few times against Cummins and off-spinner Lyon.

The second opener Hameed clobbered two boundaries in an over of Starc, but a poor shot by him down the leg side resulted in edge and was caught by Carey behind the wicket.

Dawid Malan and Joe Root put up an unbeaten partnership of 159 runs for England

Malan survived an appeal of caught behind as the umpire turned it down. Although Australia skipper Cummins reviewed it, the Hotspot didn’t show any edge to the bat.

England skipper Joe Root, who came in the middle after the wicket of Hameed batted cautiously at the start of the innings. Malan started to play his graceful strokes against spinner Lyon. He pummelled two boundaries off a single over of Lyon. Both batters avoided any more damage till Tea break.

After the break, both batters freed their hands and hammered boundaries off Lyon and Starc. Root and Malan both completed their fifties and 100-run partnership in the meantime. They milked many runs off Lyon and Starc by hitting occasional boundaries.

Australia’s pacers used many tactics to break this partnership. Starc used a short ball ploy against Malan but couldn’t take his wicket. Malan and Root both suffered close calls at the end of the day but they managed to survive till stumps. Root and Malan remained unbeaten on the score of 86 and 80, respectively, at the end of the day.

What to expect on Day 4

With the visitors 58 runs behind, Australia will look to employ pressure tactics to wrap up the England innings soon without conceding many runs. But for the first time in this Ashes have England showed some grit and with 8 wickets in hand and the duo of Root and Malan gritting it out in the middle, it could be England’s day as well if they show resilience.

The game is afoot and the characters are slowly getting in the groove. All to play for on the last two days.

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