The Ashes: Key takeaways from Day 3
Dawid Malan (80*) and Joe Root (86*) have helped England (220/2) fight back on Day 3 of the first Ashes Test against Australia in Brisbane. Australia, who resumed the day on 343/7, managed a total of 425. They gained a lead of 278 runs after having folded England for 147. Malan and Root have defied Australia, who still lead by 58 runs.
Travis Head gets to 152
It was a sparkling innings from Travis Head on Day 2 as he helped Australia from a position of bother. He struck an 85-ball century and was unbeaten on 112. Today, Head added another 40 runs to score a fine 152. His innings was laced with 14 fours and four sixes. It was a top-notch effort from the 27-year-old Head.
Head gets support from Starc and Lyon
Mitchell Starc gave Head company by adding 37 runs and closing the day out on Thursday. He added 48 runs alongside Head today to give Australia the cushion. Starc hung on for a 65-ball 34 in the end. Besides Starc, Nathan Lyon's 24-ball 15 played a key role as well. His 29-run stand alongside Head saw Australia get past 400.
Australia grab two wickets
Australia needed to strike early on to put pressure on England and they did that by dismissing both openers. Rory Burns, who scored a duck in the first innings, fell for 13. Cummins dug in short as the ball jumped from the pitch and brushed his gloves. Haseeb Hameed looked good for his 27 but played a loose shot down the leg.
Malan and Root stand tall
England were 63/2 before Root joined Malan and the two players helped build England's innings. Malan survived the first hour of the second session before finding some comfort. Root, who started slowly, also got into the act. The two players dispatched the loose balls as the boundaries kept coming. They have stitched a valiant stand and are nearing the 100-run mark individually.
Root slams this record
Root now has the most Test runs by an England batter in a calendar year. He broke the record of Michael Vaughan, who amassed 1,481 runs in 2002.Root also eclipsed his previous best tally of 1,477 runs (2016).
Brisbane Test poised well at the moment
Malan and Root need to go on tomorrow and score as many runs as possible. It also depends on how the following England batters fare on a crucial Day 4. It will be a challenge and one expects Australia to be patient and hang on.