The Aussies are well and truly ahead of the third Test match despite England’s fightback with the ball. The visitors needed early wickets in today on the second day, and Anderson was the one who kept getting rid of the Australian batsmen.
Marcus Harris scored vital 76 runs on his home ground at Melbourne Cricket Ground. But Australia lost Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne early in the first session. These two are key batters in the Australian side for all three formats. But in this match, they couldn’t trouble the scorers as they would have liked.
England continued to pick up wickets even in the second session. Today’s sessions went the visitors’ way as James Anderson was on song in the first two sessions. The veteran England pace bowler picked up four wickets to his name from 23 overs, and he conceded just 23 runs. Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson were the other two pace bowlers from England, who did a decent job.
After the key Australian batters got out quickly, Marcus Harris took the Australian score closer to England’s 185 runs. Harris scored his first Ashes half-century and this fifty-plus score after seventeen innings for the Aussie opener. Harris and Head shared a partnership of 61 runs and brought some recovery to the Australian innings. Both the middle-order batsmen put their backs on the wall and kept the runs flowing.
Mark Wood was good with the line and lengths. But Jack Leach leaked runs from his end, which allowed Australia to get rid of the pressure situation. When Harris tried to go after Leach, he miscued a short on the full toss delivery outside the off stump. But Marcus survived only because of the missed opportunity by Jos Buttler behind the stumps.
Later Anderson picked up the wicket of the Aussie opener for well-made 76 runs. Marcus Harris poked the good length delivery, and he was caught behind. Robinson was also rewarded with the wicket of Travis Head. The ball from Robinson shaped away from Head’s bat to get the breakthrough for England.
The tourists gave an impressive bowling show as Jimmy Anderson was their pick of the bowlers. He had bowled 63 dots ball from 66 deliveries, and he was the one to pick up Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne for low scores. Mark Wood was another good bowler. He also hit the pitch hard and bowled with tight lines and lengths to get three wickets to his name.
But their brilliant bowling performance wasn’t backed by their batting. England again struggled with the bat. Cummins, Starc, and Boland hit back hard at England after the home team was all out for 267 runs in their 1st innings. Australia got ahead by 82 runs. But the spells from the Aussie pace bowlers were like they are ahead by three hundred runs in this match.
The last hour of play was intense, and the support of the home crowd at MCG lifted the spirits of the Australian Team. But the England batsmen couldn’t survive for this session as their four batsmen have been dismissed already. The poorest of top-order have been blown away by Starc and Boland. Even Cummins bowled with high intensity and lengths to the England batters. The visitors had no answers to that fiery pace bowling.
Australia is still dominating this Test match even after the fightback from the England bowlers. The Aussie still have a great chance of winning this Test match and the Ashes series. England has been rocked early in just 12 overs. They are placed at 31 runs with the loss of four wickets. Stokes and Root are the overnight batters for England, and they need to consolidate tomorrow’s first session.