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AUS v ENG, 2nd Test, Day 3 Review: England swim against the tide; But still well behind

Anderson and Woakes's brace keeps England in the game, but they still have to pull off something miraculous to win this game. 

England team
Joe Root of England celebrates after Chris Woakes of England took the wicket of Steve Smith. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

After a catastrophic batting display, which eventually led to England conceding a mammoth 215-run lead, they finished day 3 on a high. They are well behind the Aussies as of now, who currently possess a 268-run lead, which is a good 40 runs more than what England scored in their first innings. With the Three Lions striking four times in the final session, it’s certain that we will have a result at Adelaide.

Commencing the day’s play at 29/1, James Vince was the first to walk back to the pavilion. Hazlewood’s metronomic accuracy finally paid off as Vince could only tolerate the music for a few minutes. The biggest blow of the day for the English contingent was Patrick Cummins bamboozling Joe Root, which eventually led to the latter’s downfall.

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Dawid Malan and the out of sorts Alastair Cook tried to stick around for a little while. They couldn’t resist the channels bowlers were hitting, making them plunge towards the corridor of uncertainty. Cook fell into the trap after fighting it out hard for a good while and Dawid Malan walked back after Cummins induced an edge off his willow.

The lower-middle order chipped in with a few good starts, but neither of them could convert it into anything significant. This hurt Root and co badly as the Aussies took complete control of the innings. Moeen Ali and Bairstow walked back in quick succession and a splendid fightback from Woakes and debutant Craig Overton helped in reducing the deficit.

These both players added 66 runs for the 8th wicket and they played some delightful shots in the process. But once Mitchell Starc picked up Woakes’ wicket, it was just a mere formality and the final two wickets fell in a short span of time. England’s tiny little resilience got punctured and they got bowled out for 227 in 76.1 overs.

Nathan Lyon was the star with the ball as he returned with figures of 4/60. The canny off-spinner was spot on with his lines and managed to grip the Pink Ball beautifully. Mitchell Starc registered three big wickets and gave away just 49 runs.

Anderson and Woakes keep England alive

Just when the chips are down and the demoralized vibes are running through the English cricketers’ veins, their talisman James Anderson woke everyone up with a breathtaking spell. In his second over, he cleaned up Cameron Bancroft and the Aussies tried to play out the remainder of the day’s play defensively.

But just when they were finishing the day on a high, Anderson once again provided the breakthrough and Usman Khawaja was caught plumb in front of the stumps. Chris Woakes joined the part and returned with two of the biggest wickets he can ever accomplish in his cricketing career in a span of 4 overs.

Firstly, it was David Warner, who pushed at the ball tentatively and gave a regulation catch to Root at second slip. Next up, it was the big fish Steve Smith, who shuffled a little too much and paid a heavy price. He was adjudged LBW and Adelaide went turned a graveyard with deathly silences reverberating.

Australia somehow ensured no more wickets fell and finished at 53/4 in 26 overs. Anderson and Woakes’s brace keeps England in the game, but they still have to pull off something miraculous to win this game.

Brief Scores

Australia first innings: 442/8 declared in 149 overs

England first innings: 227 all out in 76.1 overs (Craig Overton 41*, Chris Woakes 36; Nathan Lyon 4/60, Mitchell Starc 3/49)

Australia second innings: 53/4 in 26 overs (James Anderson 2/16, Chris Woakes 2/13)

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