Josh Hazlewood and his fellow seamers tore through England’s fragile batting line-up on the second day of the third Test to leave Australia in a commanding position at lunch.
The hosts were 54-6 at Headingley – still 125 runs in arrears – as a combination of disciplined bowling from Hazlewood (3-26), and dismal shot-selection from England’s batsmen left Joe Root’s team firmly up against it.
In stark contrast to Thursday’s gloomy weather, when Australia were all out for 179, England’s innings began in glorious conditions for batting, not that they could take advantage.
The latest ill-advised drive from Jason Roy (9) to Hazlewood saw him pick out first slip David Warner, who then took a sharp chance from Root off the same bowler as England’s captain made back-to-back ducks for the first time in his Test career.
Joe Denly was given a DRS reprieve when initially adjudged lbw four balls later, though England were soon 20-3 when Rory Burns (9) gloved a shorter delivery from Pat Cummins behind.
Ben Stokes (8) was guilty of the most head-scratching stroke of all, chasing a wide delivery from James Pattinson he could barely reach and giving Warner more cause for celebration.
Denly took 49 balls to make 12 but his race was run when his eyes lit up to width offered by Pattinson – wicketkeeper Tim Paine again taking the catch – and Hazlewood’s persistent line and length lured Jonny Bairstow (4) into a tentative prod that Warner snaffled for his fourth catch of the day.
With Australia 1-0 up in the best-of-five series and knowing victory in Leeds would see them retain the urn, England were in desperate need of a productive partnership from Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes in the second session.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 23, 2019