England's hopes fade in Adelaide, despite fightback under the lights

Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon took highlight catches after England's top order dissolved to put the tourist's Ashes hopes in huge doubt.

Published : Dec 04, 2017 17:11 IST

England searches for back-door entry with late strikes.
England searches for back-door entry with late strikes.

England searches for back-door entry with late strikes.

England's resistance with bat and ball looks to have come all too late as it ended a calamitous third day of the second Test trailing Australia by 268 runs and facing likely defeat.

The tourist began Monday 29-1 in chase of Australia's 442-8 declared, but it fell 227 all out shortly after dinner thanks to some slapdash batting and a pair of stunning catches by Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon


Lyon's record-breaking feat


Lyon ended the innings with four wickets to take him onto 55 Test scalps in 2017 - joint highest with India's Ravichandran Ashwin for this calendar year - and England's frustrations will have been compounded by Craig Overton , batting at nine on his debut, top-scoring with a gritty unbeaten 41, scored in a manner that looked beyond so many of his more esteemed colleagues.

Overton and Chris Woakes ' 66-run eighth-wicket union was England's best partnership, but it fell way short of Australia's total and Steve Smith had the option to put Joe Root's men back in to bat when they were skittled.

With 76 overs in the legs of a four-man attack, Smith opted against enforcing the follow-on but the tourist's attack finally came to life under the lights.

Cameron Bancroft (4), Usman Khawaja (20) and David Warner (14) fell as England got the pink ball talking, before Woakes (2-13) snared the the prized wicket of Smith (6) as Australia was reduced to 53-4 at stumps, although it remains well ahead in the contest.

Impatient England pays the price

Shaun Marsh had shown the patience required in scoring an unbeaten 126 on Sunday, but James Vince (2), Root (9) and Alastair Cook (37) were guilty of playing unnecessarily at wide balls to give their wickets away in a woeful opening session.


Dawid Malan (19) was unfortunate to get a pacey, climbing delivery from Pat Cummins that nipped in off the seam and flirted with his glove on its way to Tim Paine.

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Lyon ended the innings with four wickets to take him onto 55 Test scalps in 2017 - joint highest with India's Ravichandran Ashwin for this calendar year.

A pair of screaming catches left England without a recognised batsman. Lyon dived full-length to his left to grab a fending shot from Moeen Ali (25), while Starc flung out a right hand to block Jonny Bairstow's powerful drive on 21 before pouching at the second time of asking.

A wag in the tail


Overton and Woakes were subjected to rough treatment from the Australian quicks but rolled with the punches in an impressive partnership that only served to highlight the second-rate nature of what had gone before.

Eventually Woakes skied another caught-and-bowled chance to Starc on 36 while Lyon mopped up Broad and Anderson cheaply.

As England's leading bowlers finally made the most of swinging conditions at dusk, Anderson (2-16) caught Bancroft's edge in successive deliveries, Bairstow safely accepting the second, and trapped Khawaja in front before Warner guided a full Woakes delivery to the cordon.

England was dismayed to see Smith reprieved on nought when DRS showed Anderson had pitched fractionally outside leg before rapping the home skipper's pad, but Woakes got rid of the skipper for six with a delivery that trapped him playing across his stumps.

Nightwatchman Lyon (3*) edged his first ball through the slips and Peter Handscomb (3*) was all over the place as England continued to bowl brilliantly, but it remains to be seen if they can bat with similar spirit to avoid going 2-0 down in the series.

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