England managed to survive Day-3 with a lot help from the heavens, as persistent rain brought an early halt to play for the day.
This after Scott Boland and Pat Cummins made short work of the English opening pair on Day 3 of the ongoing first Test match of Ashes 2023 at Edgbaston. At the end of Day 3, England was at 28/2 with Joe Root and Ollie Pope unbeaten on naught.
Before rain interrupted play for the first time on Day 3, England continued with their ‘Bazball’ style of play.
Ben Duckett looked to quickly score runs while Zack Crawley played the anchor’s role, holding onto his wicket on the other end.
But everything started to change once the weather gods interrupted the game. A drizzle stopped the game for an hour.
Once the play resumed, Scott Boland and Pat Cummins thrived on a surface freshened up by rain. The pitch and the wind provided the pace bowlers with the ideal conditions to bowl to the English batters.
Cummins dismissed Duckett as he tried to play the short behind square but his shot wasn’t wide enough. Green stretched every part of his body to take a stunner at the gully. Duckett departed for a score of 19(28).
In the next over, Boland swung the ball sharply right into the right-handed batter. He struggled to deal with the drastic change in conditions. Boland set up his dismissal perfectly as he ended up knicking the ball and it went straight into the hands of Alex Carey. Crawley walked back to the pavilion with a score of 7(25).
Root and Pope managed to hold on to their wickets as the rain once again intervened. In the end, the match couldn’t continue and stumps was called on 10.3 overs.
Earlier, resuming the day at 311/5, Alex Carey and centurion Usman Khawaja continued their splendid partnership as the duo kept cracking runs off regular intervals.
The duo kept on moving the scoreboard at a brisk pace. Carey slammed two back-to-back fours before veteran pacer James Anderson bowled the Australia batter for 66 runs and broke a solid more than a hundred-run partnership. Australia skipper Pat Cummins then came out to bat.
It was a tough task for England players to trap centurion Khawaja, however, Ollie Robinson did the job gracefully, removing Australia opener. England captain Ben Stokes deployed a bizarre field for Khawaja – a number of close catchers in front of the square – and it appeared to befuddle the Australian as he came down the pitch and was yorked by Robinson.
New batter Nathan Lyon did not look convinced with any of the big shots he played and ended up getting out to one as he got caught by Ben Duckett on the square-leg boundary off Robinson.
Another unorthodox, attacking field from England welcomed new batter Scott Boland, along with Robinson coming around the wicket to the right-hander off the last ball as well.
Broad then trapped Boland to play short ball and the plan worked for England as he prod on up to close-in fielder Ollie Pope on the off-side to depart Australia’s batter without scoring a run.
Cummins tried to take on the short ball off Robinson’s over, but mistimed it and Stokes got under it to make the catch in midwicket.
Australia skittled out just before lunch at 386, and England lead by seven runs after the first innings.
Brief score: England 393/8 d & 28/2 (Zack Crawley 19(28), Ben Duckett 7(25) and Scott Boland 1/1) vs Australia 386 (Usman Khawaja 141; Alex Carey 66; Ollie Robinson 3-55).