Ashes 2021-22: Australia claim four late wickets to grab stronghold in Melbourne

By Sports Desk December 27, 2021

Australia took four late wickets amid a devastating spell with the ball to grab a stronghold on their way to sealing the Ashes after England had fought back on day two of the third Test at the MCG.

Mitchell Starc claimed the scalps of Zak Crawley and Dawid Malan in successive balls before Victorian debutant Scott Boland had Haseeb Hameed caught behind and bowled Jack Leach to leave the visitors reeling.

England were 31-4 at stumps, trailing by 51 runs as Australia, who lead the series 2-0, look to clinch the Ashes in Melbourne. Joe Root (12*) and Ben Stokes (2*) will resume at the crease on day three.

The visitors had rallied to keep the Boxing Day Test alive, having dismissed Australia for 267 led by veteran James Anderson with 4-33.

All this after drama forced the resumption of play to be delayed after a coronavirus scare within the England camp, before all the players were cleared for an 11am local start.

Australia had resumed at 61-1 after England were all out for 185 on the first day. Marcus Harris resumed at the crease and top scored with 76 on his home deck.

England had made good inroads into the Australia batting order at 110-4, dismissing number one Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne for 1 and vice-captain Steve Smith for 16 from Chris Wood (71-2) and Anderson respectively.

Harris was the only Australian to score more than 40, with Travis Head (27) getting a start before falling to Ollie Robinson (64-2), who had a hamstring scare but played on.

England appeared set for a nominal first-innings deficit before a late cameo from Starc (24*) and captain Pat Cummins (21) opened up an 82-run lead.

However, Australia turned the game in a stunning final 45 minutes with Cummins almost having Crawley caught behind for a duck when Alex Carey botched a chance, before the English opener went in the next over to Starc (11-2).

Starc trapped Malan lbw next ball despite a review, before Boland was introduced to the attack, having Hameed caught by Carey before clean bowling Leach two balls later.

Starc misses rare Boxing Day hat-trick

Starc almost claimed the first Boxing Day Test Ashes hat-trick since Shane Warne in 1994 when he dismissed Crawley and Malan in successive deliveries. England skipper Root survived a close call on the hat-trick ball which had the MCG crowd on their feet as it whizzed past the bat.

Local hero fires up crowd

Local debutant Boland only managed one wicket in the first innings but received great support from his home crowd during his brief batting innings before a double strike with his only over after being thrown the ball late in the day.

Related items

  • Comilla Victorians, Fortune Barishal set to battle in BPL final on Friday; Victorians seeking third consecutive title Comilla Victorians, Fortune Barishal set to battle in BPL final on Friday; Victorians seeking third consecutive title

    The Comilla Victorians and Fortune Barishal will lock horns to determine the champion of the 2024 Bangladesh Premier League at the Shere-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur on Friday.

    The Victorians, home of West Indians Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Johnson Charles, will be looking for their third BPL title in a row and fifth overall while Barishal, home of Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy and Yannic Cariah, will be seeking their first BPL crown.

    Comilla finished second on the final points table in the league phase and got to the final on the back of a six-wicket win over the Rangpur Riders in Qualifier 1 on Monday.

    Barishal, who finished third on the points table, got a seven-wicket win over the Chattogram Challengers in the Eliminator on Monday before upsetting the Riders with a six-wicket win in Qualifier 2 on Wednesday.

    The final is expected to be an exciting affair as both teams have registered wins over each other this season.

    They first met on January 23 with the Victorians winning by four wickets before, a month later, Barishal registered a six-wicket win.

    Individually, the two finalists boast the top two run scorers in this season’s edition of the BPL.

    Fortune Barishal will be looking for a big contribution from opener Tamim Iqbal who currently leads the run-scoring chart with 453 runs from 14 innings at a strike rate of 125.48 including three fifties.

    Second on that list in Comilla’s Towhid Hridoy with 447 runs from 13 innings at a strike rate of 149.49 including a hundred and a pair of fifties.

    Comilla’s Litton Das (375 runs from 13 innings) and Barishal’s Mushfiqur Rahim (367 runs from 14 innings) are also among the top five run getters this season and will be looking to score big in Friday’s final.

    As for the bowling side, medium pacer Mohammad Saifuddin has taken 14 wickets at an average of 14.14 for Barishal while left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam has picked up 13 wickets in 12 matches for the Victorians.

    Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz and West Indian left-arm quick Obed McCoy have also been in good form for Barishal with 11 wickets each.

     

  • Sabina Park among those to benefit from CWI's venue changes for West Indies Championship Sabina Park among those to benefit from CWI's venue changes for West Indies Championship

    With the Diego Martin Sports Complex in Trinidad and Tobago being unavailable, Cricket West Indies (CWI) recently announced venue changes, which will result in Jamaica Scorpions playing their remaining West Indies Championship fixtures at Sabina Park.

    The changes affect rounds 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the competition, with venues being shifted to ensure the tournament match schedule proceeds as planned.

    According to CWI's Director of Cricket, Miles Bascombe, these adjustments are part of CWI's ongoing effort to provide the best possible conditions for competitive first class cricket and to showcase the talent within the region.

    “We have witnessed three very exciting rounds of first-class cricket with thrilling team and individual performances. The stage is now set going into rounds four and five for some teams to try to build on their momentum and others to gather some having had the chance to regroup and rejuvenate. CWI will continue to work with WIPA, our host Boards and venues to ensure that conditions for play are the best on offer given the constraints and that in the end the championship will be decided by the contest between bat and ball," Bascombe said, adding that CWI looks forward to welcoming fans to the new venues and encourage their continued support for their teams throughout the championship.

    Among those to benefit is Jamaica's Sabina Park, which up until recently, scarcely hosted any cricket event. After hosting games in the first three rounds of the tournament, the 'Cricket Mecca' as the venue is known, will host another four rounds of games involving the Scorpions.

    The West Indies Championship games will be streamed live with ball-by-ball commentary on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel.

    Updated Schedule:

    Round 4 (March 13 - 16):

    CCC vs Leeward Island Hurricanes will now be hosted at the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket Ground (UWISPEC) in Trinidad.

    Trinidad &Tobago Red Force vs Windward Islands Volcanoes - Queen’s Park Oval (QPO), Trinidad.

    Guyana Harpy Eagles vs Barbados Pride has been moved to the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) in Antigua.

    Jamaica Scorpions vs West Indies Academy will take place at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

    Round 5 (March 20 – 23):

    Jamaica Scorpions vs Leeward Island Hurricanes has been relocated to Sabina Park in Jamaica.

    Guyana Harpy Eagles vs Windward Volcanoes has been relocated to CCG in Antigua.

    CCC vs West Indies Academy will now be contested at UWI SPEC in Trinidad.

    Trinidad &Tobago Red Force vs Barbados Pride – QPO in Trinidad.

    Round 6 (April 10 - 13):

    CCC vs Trinidad and Tobago Red Force is now scheduled for UWI SPEC in Trinidad.

    Jamaica Scorpions vs Guyana Harpy Eagles - Sabina Park, Jamaica.

    Leeward Hurricanes vs Barbados Pride - Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS), Antigua.

    West Indies Academy vs Windward Islands Volcanoes - CCG, Antigua.

    Round 7 (April 17 – 20):

    CCC vs Guyana Harpy Eagles will take place at UWI SPEC in Trinidad.

    Jamaica Scorpions vs Trinidad &Tobago Red Force - Sabina Park, Jamaica.

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes vs Windward Islands Volcanoes - SVRS, Antigua.

    West Indies Academy vs Barbados Pride - CCG, Antigua.

  • Cameron Green century defies New Zealand on opening day of series Cameron Green century defies New Zealand on opening day of series

    Cameron Green hit a defiant unbeaten 103 as Australia were restricted to 279 for nine on the opening day of the first Test in New Zealand.

    Matt Henry claimed four wickets as the home side’s seam attack took full advantage of a green wicket in Wellington.

    Henry claimed the wickets of openers Steve Smith for 31 and Usman Khawaja for 33 as Australia limped to 85 for four, the struggling Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head both managing just a single.

    Mitchell Marsh provided some support to Green, handed the pivotal number four spot after Smith’s elevation to open following the retirement of David Warner, before Henry had him caught behind for 40.

    Green hit 16 boundaries, accelerating through the second half of the day with wickets falling regularly at the other end with variable bounce and seam movement making batting difficult.

    Nathan Lyon was the last to go when he was caught behind to give Henry his fourth wicket just before stumps.

    There was still time for Green to reach his second Test century, moving through the 90s with three boundaries in the day’s final over.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.