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Cummins takes three to leave England reeling in 3rd Ashes Test
Publicado: 25/12/2021

Cummins takes three to leave England reeling in 3rd Ashes Test

Melbourne (AFP) -

A relentless Pat Cummins snared three wickets as England's openers flopped again Sunday, leaving captain Joe Root to steer his team to 61 for three at lunch on day one of the third Ashes Test.

The dependable Root was unbeaten on 33 with Dawid Malan out for 14 on the stroke of the first break at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in another disastrous start after Australia won the toss and opted to bowl.

Light drizzle delayed play by 30 minutes, but it soon brightened up for an expected 70,000 partisan fans at the MCG.

After heavy defeats in the first two Tests, at Brisbane and Adelaide, England must win to keep the series alive, with Australia only needing a draw to retain the urn as holders.

With that in mind, the visitors wielded the axe with Zak Crawley in for struggling opener Rory Burns and veteran Jonny Bairstow replacing Ollie Pope at number six.

Speedster Mark Wood was recalled after being rested in Adelaide, as was off-spinner Jack Leach, with Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad overlooked.

Wearing black armbands to mourn former England captain Ray Illingworth, who died aged 89, Crawley confidently drove Cummins for three in his opening over.

But the ever-dangerous Australian skipper, back after missing the second Adelaide Test because he was in Covid isolation, struck three balls later with Haseeb Hameed's torrid tour continuing, out for a duck after nicking to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Crawley earned his first Test chance since March due to Burns' poor form, but he failed to grab it, finding an outside edge to a rising Cummins ball that Cameron Green superbly caught at gully.

His dismissal for 12 left England in big trouble at 13 for two with Malan and Root, the only two English batsmen to pass 50 this series, again forced to come to the rescue.

A cautious Malan took 18 balls to get off the mark as he weathered the early storm, surviving some tight bowling from not only Cummins but Green and spinner Nathan Lyon, who was brought into the attack early.

But disaster hit once more for England just before the break when Malan got an edge off Cummins that carried to David Warner at slip.

Root played positively as he reached 33, striking two boundaries, to move past South Africa's Graeme Smith (1,656 in 2008) and into third place for the most runs scored in a calender year.

His next target is West Indian great Viv Richards (1,710 runs in 1976), with Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 runs in 2006) topping the list.

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