England skipper Joe Root left behind his string of poor displays in the ongoing Ashes and produced a gritty and unbeaten knock of 72 to keep his team afloat in the third Test against Australia. Partnering Joe Denly, Root revived the English innings, which at 15/2, was heading towards another low total. At the stumps of Day 3 England reached 156 and still require 203 to win.
Requiring 359 to win the third Test and equalize the Ashes, England lost their openers cheaply. Root and Denly, too, were scratchy in the initial stages but soon found their A game. They rallied on to first steady the ship for the home team and then started to keep the scoreboard ticking as they countered Australia’s bowling attack.
The duo went on to bat for more than 53 overs and and added 126 runs for the third wicket. Denly was constantly kept in check with short balls from the Australian pacers. But the batsman was also on the mark as he ducked and saw most of them through. However, after settling in, Root took off the pressures from Denly and started treating the earning the maximum results as much as he could.
As the partnership crossed the 100-mark, Australia upped their ante and bowled more tighter lengths. Accordingly many appeals came up andthe visitors even lost a revie in the process but the home team continued with their proceedings. However, the party was not to last long as Josh Hazlewood struck in the 54th over.
Right after completing his half-century, Denly failed to get away from a steep bouncer. His desperation to keep aside did not work as the ball kissed his batting gloves to land safely into the wicket-gloves of Australian captain Tim Paine. The long-standing English resistance finally failed and Australia sensed blood. However, that was not to be the case as Ben Stokes produced an old-school batting display to remain not out at 2 after playing 50 balls.
Australia, after irritating the hosts in the opening session, had put up the target of 359. Marcus Labuschagne, again justifying his place, led the way for his team with a well-made 80. He added 75 with the tailenders to further the frustration for the Joe Root-led side after they were bowled out for 67 in the first innings. As the English bowlers failed to get him out, Denly ran Labuschagne out for 80. After then it was a smooth sail for the touring side as they got the remaining tails out in quick succession.