England vs Australia, as it happened: Bad light forces premature end to Day 3 with Australia in the lead

Australia managed to squeeze out a 34-run lead before bad light brought a premature end to proceedings on Day 3 of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

A second successive failure in his comeback Test for David Warner.   -  Getty Images

Steve Smith, the centurion from Australia's first innings, and Travis Head had added 49 runs for the fourth wicket to take Australia to 124 for three at stumps on Day 3 of the first Ashes Test. The visitor holds a 34-run lead with two days left in the Test.

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- STUMPS! Bad light has forced a premature end to the third day's play. Steve Smith and Travis Head are Australia's overnight batsmen, batting on 46 and 21 respectively, while taking the lead to 34 runs. Join us tomorrow for what should be another exciting day's Test cricket.

- Another partnership building for Australia between Steve Smith and Travis Head, who have taken the score to 119 for three, a lead of 29 runs. They have added 44 runs for the fourth wicket. Ben Stokes has challenged the batsmen right through this spell. He rapped Smith, who has been well set, on the pad and it was only the height that saved Smith. England gave a long thought about going for the review, but rightly chose not to. Smith, in the same over, was hit on the helmet and visibly shaken up by the blow. He took off his helmet and had himself checked up by the team physio before continuing with his innings. Head has punished anything loose and begun to look secure as his innings as progressed.

- AUSTRALIA IN THE LEAD! Steve Smith tucks a length ball - from Ben Stokes - off his hip and Australia moves to 91 for three, which is now effectively 1 for three. The former captain and first-innings centurion holds the key to Australia's chances of winning this Test. The pitch is playing no demons, the bowlers have had to be proactive to take wickets, and England has the bowlers to produce dismissals without the pitch having to assist them. An intriguing hour and more coming up on day three.

- WICKET! Ben Stokes comes into the attack and removes Usman Khawaja, who was looking dangerous. It's a cross-seam delivery bowled on length. Khawaja is caught on the crease and the ball catches the inside edge through to Jonny Bairstow. Gone for 40, Australia 75 for three. Travis Head is the new batsman in .

- Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith have added 46 runs for the third wicket, in just 7.5 overs, indicating how freely they have accumulated the runs. Khawaja's driving has been of the highest quality, while Smith, but for a couple of uncertain moments, has looked solid. Joe Root has introduced himself into the attack with Australia trailing by just 17 runs now.

- WICKET! Cameron Bancroft is out, caught at forward short leg for 7! Moeen Ali has his first wicket of the second innings. It's a flatter delivery that Bancroft tries to step out to initially, but the length is shorter, tries to manage from the crease, gets himself into a tangle and inside-edges onto the front pad before the ball balloons up in the air for Jos Buttler to pouch it easily.

- Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja have ensured Australia hasn't lost a wicket soon after David Warner perished. Bancroft hasn't looked comfortable and was nearly bowled by Moeen Ali in his first over. Khawaja has been edgy, but importantly for the visitor, it's still only one down and the runs are coming, which means the second-innings deficit is reducing. Australia 26 for one.

- WICKET! Indecision from David Warner and he's paid the price for it! It's a beautiful delivery from round the wicket, angled in with the seam pointing towards the slip and the ball just straightens after pitching; Warner doesn't know whether to leave or play and before he could withdraw his bat out of the way, it catches the outside edge and flies to Jonny Bairstow. It's a huge deflection and looked out clearly, but the umpire says not out. The England fielders behind the stumps were quite confident, Joe Root reviews and gets the decision in England's favour. Australia 13 for one, Usman Khawaja walks in to bat.

- Cameron Bancroft and David Warner are out to open the innings for Australia. Stuart Broad is opening the bowling for England, with no sign of James Anderson yet. Sam Curran is on the field for the veteran seamer.

- ALL OUT! James Anderson goes for the slog sweep and top-edges Nathan Lyon, bringing an end to England's first innings. All out for 374, an overall lead of 90 runs. Three wickets apiece for Pat Cummins and Lyon, while Peter Siddle and James Pattinson took two wickets each. Tea's been taken, join us in 15 minutes for the final session of the day. We'll also know if James Anderson, who bowled just four overs in the first innings, will come out to bowl after enduring calf tightness on the first day of the Test.

- WICKET! And the short ball does the trick for Australia! Stuart Broad gets inside the line of a short-pitched delivery from Pat Cummins and flicks it aerially behind square; the ball flies straight to James Pattinson at fine leg. Broad was being peppered with bouncers throughout the over and he had ducked out of the way of a majority of those. But it was a matter of time before he tried to play at one and the shot found the fielder without him having to move.

- Another Pat Cummins over goes by without presenting any semblance of a challenge to Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad. England's lead now has swollen to 81 runs and the pair has played out the first hour after lunch, adding 37 runs. Tim Paine has bowled Steve Smith for a couple of overs and the leg-spinner induced a false shot off Broad, who under-edged a ball outside off-stump through the 'keeper's legs for four. Otherwise, Broad and Woakes have been comfortable at the crease. England 365 for eight.

- England's lead now 68, while the ninth-wicket stand between Chris Woakes and Stuart Board is now 52. The home crowd has grown louder as this partnership has prospered, and the Australian bowlers are struggling to create wicket-taking opportunities.

- Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad have added 16 runs so far in the post-lunch session. The pair has showed a good defensive technique and composure to keep the Australian bowlers at bay. The in-and-out field means there are plenty of singles on offer and Broad and Woakes have been excellent at exploiting the gaps on the field off the pacers and Nathan Lyon. England 344 for eight, leads by 60 runs.

- England is 328 for eight, an overall first-innings lead of 44, at lunch on day three. An unbeaten ninth-wicket stand of 28 runs between Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad has stifled Australia after it took three wickets in quick succession to have England 300 for eight and give itself a chance to bowl out the host without allowing the lead to grow. Woakes and Broad, though, have shown good defence but collected the runs on offer by putting the ball in the gaps and running hard between the wickets. Woakes slog-swept Nathan Lyon for a six in the last over of the session, which belonged to Australia. England scored 61 runs for the loss of four wickets (Ben Stokes, Rory Burns, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow). Join us in 30 minutes for the post-lunch session.

- Just when the end looked nigh for Australia, Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad have stitched a valuable 22-run partnership for the ninth wicket. The lead has swollen to 38 runs and suddenly the bowling doesn't look all that threatening, and the pitch seems to be playing all right too. England 322 for eight.

- WICKET! Australia roaring back into the contest! Jonny Bairstow barely looked comfortable in the middle, labouring to 8 off 34 balls before choosing a ball close to off-stump to cut and edging to David Warner in the slips. England 300 for eight, Stuart Broad joins Chris Woakes.

- WICKET! Two wickets in quick succession for Australia and Nathan Lyon, who this time castles Moeen Ali with another offspinner that pitches on off and goes on to hit top of off-stump. Gone for 0, England 300 for seven. Chris Woakes is the new batsman in.

- WICKET! A ripping offspinner from Nathan Lyon brings him his first wicket of the match, and it's the big one of Rory Burns! Gone for 133. Lyon has toiled hard, going past the outside edge numerous times and rapping Burns on the pad in the first session yesterday, when he should had the left-hander's scalp. This time he gets one to spin sharply pitching on middle and off and Burns gets an edge through to Tim Paine behind the stumps. England 296 for six. Moeen Ali is the new batsman in.

An update on James Anderson

- England moves to 293 for five at drinks in the first session on day three. Twenty-six runs have been added for the loss of Ben Stokes in the opening hour. The ball hasn't done much, with settled batsman Rory Burns looking a class apart. Jonny Bairstow, the new batsman, has had a couple of close shaves, including a thick outside edge off James Pattinson falling short of Steve Smith at second slip. Australian bowlers continue to search for wickets and have bowled well, knowing full well that England has depth in its batting with Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Stuart Board still to bat.

- England takes the lead. Bairstow flicks Pattinson in front of square for a boundary and helps his side take the lead.

- Jonny Bairstow is the new man in.

- WICKET - Stokes departs after hitting a fifty as Australia manage to break the stand. Stokes goes after an away going length delivery and ends up getting a faint edge as Tim Paine pouches an easy catch.

- Fifty for Stokes - Ben Stokes brings up his 18th Test fifty and what a glorious summer the all-rounder is having. An important fifty here and England now trails by just two runs.

- FOUR - First boundary of the day and Ben Stokes oozes class with a splendid on-drive. Full from Pattinson and Stokes drives it through the mid-on for a boundary.

- Was there a nick? Australia decide not to review. There was a huge appeal for caught behind but Joel Wilson was unmoved. Siddle bowls a fuller one, Stokes fails to connect it and in the process his bat hits the ground as the ball reaches to the wicket-keeper. Australia knew Stokes didn't nick it. 

- Just a single (bye) from the first over of the day and Pattinson has managed to beat the outside edge of Stokes.

- Alright here we go! Burns and Stokes are out in the middle and it will be Pattinson with the new ball.

- We are just 30 minutes away from the start of Day three in what promises to be a cracker of a session. With the new ball, Australia will fancy its chances and try to claw back into the game, while England will aim to take a healthy lead.

- With the pitch offering turn, batting last won't be an easy task and the visitors would be wary of that fact.

As it Happened: Day Two

Match Report: Burns maiden Test ton puts host in command

Rory Burns hit his maiden Test century on the second day of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston on Friday as England finished the day on 267/4, trailing Australia by just 17 runs.

Surrey opening batsman Burns spent 36 balls in the 'nervous 90s' and for more than half an hour could not get beyond 92.

WATCH: Ashes 2019: Century a long way from Ireland woes for Burns

But the 28-year-old left-hander eventually got to three figures for the first time in eight Tests with a quick single against Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon, having then faced 224 balls including 14 fours.

 

After a third umpire review confirmed Burns had made his ground, he was able to soak up the applause of a packed and sun-drenched crowd, with England then 205-4 in reply to Australia's first-innings 284.

Key Facts

-    Burns had a first-innings average of 15 prior to the meeting at Edgbaston.
-    Adam Lyth's century against New Zealand in 2015 was the last time an England opener not named Alastair Cook reached three figures on home soil.
-    England have recorded successive second-wicket century partnerships.
-    Only three England batsmen have posted 150 in an Ashes Test at Edgbaston (David Gower, Nasser Hussain and Ted Dexter).

More Umpiring Errors

While Australia's decision not to review when Lyon's lbw appeal against Burns proved the wrong one, the initial call from the umpire was incorrect too.

After a string of errors from the officials on day one, Root twice overturning their decisions on Friday showed there is still room for improvement.

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Ashes 2019: Ponting calls for cricket to ditch neutral umpires

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting Saturday called for cricket to ditch its requirement to have neutral umpires after a number of incorrect decisions in the ongoing first Test of the Ashes series in England.

Aleem Dar of Pakistan and West Indian Joel Wilson have drawn criticism after a number of their calls were overturned by the review system during the opening days at Edgbaston.

Ponting, who is part of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) influential Cricket Committee, said he would ensure the matter is discussed at their next meeting.

“It’s already been spoken about a lot among the players. If it’s not brought up (at that next MCC meeting), I’ll make sure it’s added to the agenda,” he told the Cricket Australia website.

“I would like to think the game has come far enough now for the game to not have neutral umpires.

“People might say that with all the technology we’ve got now, it doesn’t matter that much. But it’s not a good spectacle when pretty obviously wrong decisions are made,” he added.

“There’s been a lot of negativity about the DRS (Decision Review System) over the years, but we’re pretty lucky that we had it (at Edgbaston).”

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England pacer Mark Wood out for the season

England fast bowler Mark Wood will play no part in the ongoing Ashes series after suffering a left knee injury while helping his country win the World Cup last month.

The Durham quick helped tournament hosts England win the World Cup for the first time, taking 18 wickets at an average of 25.72.

Wood was not included in England’s team for the first Test at Edgbaston currently in progress and was already set to miss the Ashes matches at Lord’s and Headingley because of a left side strain he sustained during a World Cup final win over New Zealand.

England announced on Friday that Wood had been struggling with a knee problem as well as a long-standing ankle injury.

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Numbers and names on shirts look ridiculous in Test cricket, says Brett Lee

Former Australian pacer Brett Lee doesn’t mind the ICC exploring ways to popularise Test cricket but says it’s “ridiculous” to see players wearing names and numbers on their white flannels.

Lee’s critical opinion comes a day after Adam Gilchrist, the 42-year-old’s former teammate, called the latest innovation “rubbish“.

Earlier this year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed Test-playing nations to have the players sport their names and numbers on their jerseys.

While the move found many takers, a few did not seem convinced.

“For what it’s worth I’m strongly against the players numbers & names appearing on the back of test cricket shirts! I think it looks ridiculous. @ICC I love the changes you’ve made to cricket in general, but on this occasion you’ve got it wrong,” Lee tweeted.