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The Ashes, 3rd Test: Australia bundle out England for 185 in 1st innings

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Melbourne, Dec 26 (IANS) Showing their dominance with the ball, Australia bowled out England for 185 in their first innings on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, here on Sunday.

England were 128/6 at tea and their struggle continued even after that as they lost the wickets of Jonny Bairstow (35), Mark Wood (6) Ollie Robinson (22) and Jack Leach (13) and could only add 57 runs in the third session after being put into bat.

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For Australia, Pat Cummins (3/36) and Nathon Lyon (3/36) picked three wickets each, Mitchell Starc (2/54) took two while Scott Boland (1/48) and Cameron Green (1/7) bagged one wicket each.

Earlier in the day, Australia opted to bowl after a 30-minute delayed start in Melbourne due to a slight drizzle.

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Returning skipper Pat Cummins started strong, bowling testing lengths and lines to trouble England’s openers. He drew first blood in his opening over when Haseeb Hameed poked at a fuller delivery that shaped away a tad bit, falling for a 10-ball duck.

The skipper then dismissed Zak Crawley (12) in his fourth over, leaving England teetering at 13/2 early in the third Test. However, England’s fight-back was led by skipper Root, who along with Malan added 48 runs for the third wicket.

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The pair complemented each other well enough to keep Australia at bay for most parts until a lapse in the final minutes of the first session. Cummins was rewarded for his spectacularly consistent bowling as Malan (14) nicked in the last over of the morning session.

Resuming the play from 61/3 after lunch, England lost the wickets of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler and added 71 runs in the second session of the day.

England skipper Joe Root departed immediately after bringing up his fifty (50). Root needlessly hung the bat out to a ball from Mitchell Starc and opened up the face before edging it to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes ( 25) also couldn’t capitalise on his start. In his short innings, he played a couple of impressive shots and looked promising, however, Green got him caught at point.

Ben Stokes (25) and Jonny Bairstow then forged a stand and kept the runs ticking without taking too many risks. However, Cameron Green was rewarded for some tidy bowling, as he picked the wicket of Stokes, who arched back in the crease to play the cut shot against a shorter ball and got out at point.

Green troubled Buttler too with his lines, but it was Lyon who dismissed Buttler (3) on the stroke of tea as England slipped further.

Brief scores: England 1st innings 185 in 65.1 overs (Joe Root 50, Jonny Bairstow 35; Pat Cummins 3/36 Nathon Lyon 3/36) vs Australia.

–IANS

avn/akm

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