Ashes 2021-22: Australia leave England reeling in Adelaide as tourists collapse once more

By Sports Desk December 18, 2021

Australia had a 2-0 Ashes series lead in their sights after another batting collapse by England put the hosts firmly on top in Adelaide.

The hosts led by 282 runs at stumps on day three after dismissing the tourists for 236 in 84.1 overs, with Australia electing not to enforce the follow-on and going on to reach 45-1 in their second innings.

Despite impressive contributions from Dawid Malan (80) and Joe Root (62), England's momentum collapsed once captain Root fell. From 150-2, they slid to 169-6, and it was damage limitation from that point.

The visitors had begun the day at 17-2, replying to Australia's 473-9, knowing it would take a huge effort to get close to that total but determined it was not impossible.

Malan and captain Root looked to have England comfortable, steering them to 150 before the skipper fell victim to Cameron Green, edging to Steve Smith at first slip.

Malan followed Root back to the England changing room six overs later after a first wicket of the day for Mitchell Starc, another chance gobbled up by Smith.

The wickets fell fast as Ollie Pope went for just five and Jos Buttler was out for a duck, with spinner Nathan Lyon (3-58) and paceman Starc (4-37) doing the damage.

Ben Stokes, who required 24 balls to get off the mark, was bowled for 34 by Green after looking to up the scoring tempo once Chris Woakes (24) fell by the wayside.

Ollie Robinson (0) soon followed and Stuart Broad went for nine, while James Anderson was five not out as the innings ended painfully.

Though 237 runs to the good, Australia skipper Smith snubbed the follow-on option and told his batsmen to pile on more runs and more English agony.

Marcus Harris was 21 not out while a mix-up saw David Warner run out for 13 before the close of play.

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    “Jimmy’s fine,” Stokes added. “There was no chance he was going to bowl at all in the (rest of the) game.

    “You look at risk v reward, there’s not too much reward from Jimmy being out in the field if he’s got a pretty tight quad after playing three back-to-back Test matches in India.”

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