England hint at fightback

Hampshire Chronicle: Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 42 at tea Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 42 at tea

England were grasping for a foothold at last in the Ashes as they hinted at a sustained fightback in the third Test at the WACA.

Already trailing 2-0, and therefore in grave danger of losing the urn before Christmas, the tourists had to take charge of the second day here.

They did so in the morning, by bagging Australia's last four wickets for 59 to bowl them out for 385; then as temperatures continued to rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit under a punishing sun, Alastair Cook led from the front to help England's reply to a teatime 91 for two.

Cook had a moment of fortune in six overs of batting before lunch when he was dropped on three by Steve Smith off Ryan Harris, diving to his left at third slip.

His opening partner Michael Carberry also gave a half-chance low to Smith in the slips on 10, off Mitchell Johnson, and thought he was gone for 18 when he mis-hooked Peter Siddle but saw the ball fall between wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and fine-leg running in.

The England pair therefore survived and flourished in the highest first-wicket stand of the series so far, by either side, until Carberry paid for a misjudgment against Harris with the total on 85.

A switch to round the wicket disorientated the left-hander sufficiently for a fatal hesitation over whether to leave or not, and as he tried to take his bat out of the way an involuntary edge cannoned back into the stumps.

The second of two wickets for the addition of only five runs was much more controversial.

Marais Erasmus gave Joe Root out caught-behind to Shane Watson.

Root instantly called for DRS, but the merest flutter of activity on real-time 'snicko' combined with audio convinced third umpire Tony Hill he could not alter the initial decision.

Home centurion Smith could add only eight to his 103 early on another gloriously hot day, but Australia still frustrated England - thanks largely to a last-wicket stand of 31 between Siddle and Nathan Lyon.

Stuart Broad (three for 100) and James Anderson were in the wickets, starting with overnight batsmen Smith and Johnson.

The latter went caught-behind to a very good delivery from Broad, one of the first in this match to contain lateral movement - shaping into the left-hander but then holding its line off the pitch.

That was without addition to a seventh-wicket stand of 59, and Smith would go too soon afterwards - for the traditional England bogey score of 111.

England used DRS to their advantage, after Smith was given not out caught-behind by Erasmus, only for simulation to demonstrate an inside-edge against Anderson.

Harris speared Anderson straight to gully, but the 10th-wicket pair forced Cook into a double change before Tim Bresnan had his first success of the match - Siddle trying to leave but instead edging behind.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree