Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne successfully combated fast bowler Jofra Archer, but England took command on day one of the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
Several rain delays allowed for just 52.1 overs on Thursday, as Australia were bowled out for 179, with Labuschagne and Archer again at the centre of the entertainment.
The South African-born Labuschagne was felled by the Barbados-born Archer’s bouncer in last week’s second Test at Lord’s. The steely right-hander recovered and struck a solid half-century in London and added another in Leeds.
Archer was characteristically quick en route to telling figures of 6-45. The haul is his best in all formats of international cricket, having qualified to play for England earlier this year and since collected two Test, 14 ODIs and one T20I appearances.
Opening batsman David Warner recovered from a trying stretch of form, which yielded four single-figure failures in this series prior to Thursday’s redemptive 61. Fellow opener Marcus Harris, who replaced the out-of-favour Cameron Bancroft, perished for just eight.
The left-handed Usman Khawaja, meanwhile, fell for the same small score – and middle-order men Travis Head and Matthew Wade endured ducks.
The Klerksdorp-born Labuschagne eventually perished lbw for 74 late in the day, having missed a rank full toss from seamer Ben Stokes. He couldn’t welcome a maiden Test century and didn’t surpass a previous best 81 struck against Sri Lanka in Brisbane earlier this year.
Captain Joe Root had won the toss and opted to bowl first in cloudy conditions and named an unchanged XI. The tourists recalled Harris and replaced the experienced Peter Siddle with fellow right-arm seamer James Pattinson. The hosts and tourists are without the injured James Anderson and concussed Steven Smith, respectively.
Australia boast a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, after a 251-run victory at Edgbaston in Birmingham and the draw at Lord’s.
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