Australia bundled England out for 227, but double strikes from James Anderson and Chris Woakes limited the hosts’ lead to 268 by stumps on day three.
It was a batting performance filled with graft and grit from England’s Three Lions as they were convincingly tamed by the Baggy Greens. The visitors were bundled out for 227 and their best performance with the bat came from their debutant seamer, Craig Overton, who backed up his first-innings bowling figures of 3-105 with an unbeaten 41.
The props went to the Australia bowling attack, who wrapped up the innings shortly after dinner. Having started day three on 29-1, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins terrorised England’s top seven. Starc got the engine running dismissing James Vince in the 11th over and fellow speedster, Cummins, dismissed Joe Root in the 16th to put them three down as they brought up a team 50.
Lyon joined in on the action teaming up with Cummins to remove Alastair Cook and Dawid Malan. Lyon ended Cook’s plucky 37, while Cummins ended Malan’s humdrum 19 from 58 balls.
Two brilliantly caught and bowled efforts followed from Lyon and Starc. Moeen Ali misread the spinner’s flight and dip, chipping the ball to Lyon’s left and he dived to pluck out a magnificent one-handed catch. Starc showed similar skill in his dismissal of Jonny Bairstow (21) – he stuck out one hand to stop a Bairstow straight drive, juggled the rebound and completed the catch, leaving England rattled at 142-7.
Chris Woakes and Overton struck a much-needed 66-run partnership to take the visitors past 200, but Woakes’ grinding 62-ball 36 was ended with a thick top-edge off a misjudged pull shot, Starc completing a dolly off his own bowling to put the visitors eight down.
Lyon wrapped up the innings removing Stuart Broad and James Anderson, England all out for 227.
With a chunk of play still left in the day, Australia lost four wickets. Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja were both dismissed by Anderson while David Warner and Steve Smith by Woakes.
Australia ended day three on 53-4 and a 268-run lead, as Peter Handscomb and Lyon survived a late onslaught from England’s seamers.
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