3rd Test Ashes Review (At WACA)
England won the toss and elected to bat. In my opinion it was a good decision, but England failed to obtain the momentum losing their way when they suddenly suffered a batting collapse! Australia wrestled back the balance of play, firstly through their bowling and then with the bat due to a massive partnership between Smith and Mitch Marsh. England were competitive in parts, but lost their way even though the Barmy Army were in full voice.
Stoneman managed four boundaries from his first four scoring shots. Once again Cook failed to lodge an acceptable score after being removed by Starc for just seven runs. Vince and Stoneman looked like building a solid partnership, which came to a halt on sixty-three runs with Hazlewood breaking the partnership. Root had three fours in his first sixteen runs, with Cummings claiming Root’s wicket when his score was on twenty runs. Stoneman managed ten fours from his fifty six runs, with his wicket taken by Starc with the game in the balance at four for one hundred and thirty one runs. What followed was a partnership that gave England the ascendency and the momentum. At stumps England had lost just four wickets having scored three hundred and five runs.
Both Malan and Bairstow reached centuries, but Australia fought back. England lost their last six wickets for a poultry thirty-five run to finish all out for four hundred and three runs. All four front line Australian bowlers managed to take at least one wicket. Starc was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets including the prize scalp of Bairstow. The Aussies started well with Bancroft and Warner forming an ominous partnership until Warner was removed by Overtan with forty-four runs on the board. The game was in the balance with the Aussies at two for fitty-five. What followed was a partnership of one hundred and twenty-four runs between Smith and Khawaja. At stumps the Aussies were three for two hundred and three with Shaun Marsh and Smith at the crease.
Australia lost their fourth wicket with the score at two hundred and forty-eight; Shaun Marsh was dismissed for twenty eight. That proved to be the only wicket that the Aussies lost for the entirety of day three! Smith and Mitch Marsh added three hundred and one runs without the loss of a wicket! Smith silenced his doubters and led from the front. The Aussies were one hundred and forty-six runs ahead having regained the ascendancy and momentum of the contest.
Australia added one hundred and twenty-three runs on day four rubbing salt into the wound for the English. Hazlewood was prolific with the ball, managing to take the first two English wickets. The only thing that could result in England saving the game and bringing about a drawn Test Match was the rain. They lost four wickets on day four and trail Australia by one hundred and twenty-seven runs with one day of play remaining.
The pitch being wet from the rain caused a substantial delay to day five of the Third Ashes Test. Despite that England failed to force a draw and capitulated embarrassingly. England failed to make the game a contest with Hazlewood the chief destroyer with five Second Innings wickets as England lost by an innings, failing to make Australia bat a second time. The win makes the next two Tests dead rubbers and it means that Australia will reclaim the Ashes.