Chris Woakes admits his triumphant return to Ashes cricket left him “quite emotional” after accepting his time as a Test player might have come to an end.

Woakes stepped up with bat and ball after being thrust into last week’s must-win clash at Headingley, 16 months after he last donned his England whites on the ill-fated tour of the West Indies.

Defeat in Grenada spelled the end of Joe Root’s captaincy and ushered in the ‘Bazball’ era, with Woakes watching on from the outside as English cricket turned a new corner under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes.

Injury saw Woakes miss the entirety of last summer and, although he returned to the limited-overs set-up in time to win the T20 World Cup in November, the 34-year-old was beginning to believe the Test team had left him behind.

Watching the all-rounder take three Australian wickets in each innings in the third Test, then guide his side home with an unbeaten 32, that now seems hard to imagine.

But Woakes, who opted not to put his name forward for this year’s Indian Premier League in a bid to keep his red-ball skills sharp, is honest enough to say he was worried.

“It’s quite emotional actually. You sometimes think the ship has sailed, of course you do,” he said of his match-winning return.

“You do wonder, especially when the team was going so well last summer and I wasn’t involved. It’s hard.

“Obviously I had injuries and stuff, but I made a big decision at the start of summer not to go to India and, you know, it’s days like these which make that sort of decision pay off, comfortably.

“Sometimes you don’t always get the rewards that you deserve, but I felt like I played well in this game and got the rewards I deserve.”

Those rewards included scoring the winning runs, clattering Mitchell Starc through point for a boundary which sent a sold-out crowd wild.

“It literally doesn’t get any better than that, I don’t think,” he reflected.

“The feeling of that roar, the Western Terrace going mad. It’s pretty special, pretty cool. If you could bottle that up forever and come back to it, you would.”

Attention now turns towards Emirates Old Trafford, where England will look to level the series scoreline at 2-2 to set up a decider at the Kia Oval.

The tourists have two chances to become the first Australian men’s side to win an Ashes series on English soil since 2001, but Woakes has warned that the task will not get any easier.

“In our dressing room the belief is we can win 3-2, I think it’s always been there,” he said.

“You don’t want to look too far ahead, you have to play what’s in front of you, each ball, each day, each session, each Test match as it comes. I’d imagine when you’re so close to getting something, the harder it gets, and I’m sure the Aussies will be feeling that now.

“Once you get so close to something, it’s actually hard to get that over the line, isn’t it? We’ve got turn up in Manchester and put in another performance. They’re an extremely good side and we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them again.”

The general belief in Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz camp is that they can progress beyond the group stages on this, their second-consecutive Fifa Women’s World Cup appearance.

In fact, Head coach Lorne Donaldson would readily declare that the possibility of his Reggae Girlz achieving the feat is by no means impossible. Still, he is under no illusion that defeating or merely taking points off the new-look, young and formidable Brazil outfit, as well as the well-organised and experienced France team, will be easy.

While their just-concluded camp in Amsterdam inspires confidence, as it assisted in fine-tuning certain technical and tactical aspects, Donaldson admits that the team is still not yet where he wants them to be with the July 20 to August 20 global showpiece in Australia and New Zealand, now nine days away.

“The camp was good; I wish we had a game which would have been the true test, but it was good, nonetheless. The players worked hard, and they seem very focused, but we're not there yet.

“We still have a few more days to go, so we start working on some of the tactical stuff and I the players are going in with a sense of purpose because they know what's at stake,” Donaldson told Sportsmax.tv shortly after arriving in Australia on Monday.

Since the start of their build up to the World Cup, Donaldson has stressed the importance of holding a tight defensive line, being very well organised and more effective when in possession, if they want to be competitive.

The 43rd-ranked Reggae Girlz will open Group F play on July 23 against the number five-ranked Les Bleues, which is now the centre of their focus.

“I think France is playing a game (against Australia on Friday), so we might get a look at what their starting squad is like and just see exactly how we want to approach the game and how we want to match up against them and just go from there. If we want to be competitive, we will need to defend, and be very well organised and when we have possession, we would like to be more effective,” Donaldson shared.

“So, we still have some tactical stuff to look at and work on. I think our players know that they have to show up and be ready to perform so that makes life a little bit easier sometimes, but yes, we have to hold them accountable for certain things especially tactical mistakes,” he added.

After France, the Girlz will then tackle 52nd-ranked Panama on July 29, before closing against 8th-ranked Brazil on August 2.

However, before all of that, they will engage on final preparation game against Morocco which Donaldson believes will serve them well to lock in their plan towards efficient execution Down Under.

“We will use that game to try some things, we will give as much players as possible some minutes because the aim is to improve the work that we're doing, and we saw some stuff that we need to clean up. So, we will use this game to do that and then look at some tape with the players to see how much more we can brush up on our execution,” the coach noted.

That said, Donaldson, who was an assistant to Hue Menzies when the Girlz were hammered 0-3, 0-5 and 1-4 by Brazil, Italy and Australia on their World Cup debut in France in 2019, said they have no intentions of going out in that manner on this occasion.

“We expect to do well and get something out of the tournament,” he declared.

“We are not going to come here to the World Cup to lay down, we are going to push to get some success. We are planning to get out of the group, whichever way we have to get it done, we intend to get it done. So, it's just a matter of how well we execute when it comes to the big day,” Donaldson ended.

England quick Mark Wood is eager to hit Australia with more “thunderbolts” in Manchester next week and aims to prove “lightning strikes twice” after his Headingley heroics.

Wood marked his return to Ashes cricket with a stirring player-of-the-match showing in Leeds, taking match figures of seven for 100 and hitting 40 vital runs from just 16 deliveries.

His efforts helped change the tone of the series, getting England on the board after back-to-back defeats and leaving the path open for the hosts to reclaim the urn against all odds.

Wood’s raw pace provided an X-factor that had been absent at Edgbaston and Lord’s, with his first ball of the match doubling up as England’s fastest of the summer.

He continued cranking it up in his first red-ball outing for seven months, at one stage reaching 96.5mph during a ferocious opening spell, and Australia’s batting looked entirely less assured due to his mere presence on the park.

Wood revealed his England captain and Durham team-mate Ben Stokes had given him one simple instruction when he let him loose.

“Ben just asked me, ‘Are you ready? Are you ready to bowl some thunderbolts?’ I said yes and that was it,” he said.

“He was ready to unleash me. I know him well and he knows me well. Having that relationship with someone makes it easier.”

Asked if he was ready to dish out more of the same at Emirates Old Trafford next Wednesday, Wood replied with a grin: “Absolutely. Lightning strikes twice, eh?”

Wood is arguably the most consistently fast bowler ever to play for England, a crown he likely lacks only due to the absence of accurate historical data.

But the sheer physical exertion the 33-year-old puts himself through means he has had to endure long spells out of the side.

Since debuting in 2015 he has played just 29 of England’s 109 Tests, missing many of those through injury, yet Wood has set his sights on finishing strongly this summer.

There are just three days between the fourth and fifth games of the series, but, with a week to get himself ready, he fully intends to be on parade for both.

“I did four in Australia last time and three of them were in a row. It’s a big ask, but one I’ve done before and I will lean on that experience to try to do it again,” he said.

“I will speak to the physio, but I imagine I will bowl once or twice, do a couple of gym sessions, maybe some running, but it won’t be too drastic. I have to let the body recover.

“This was my first game in a very, very long time, especially in Test cricket. I will let the body recover, get myself in a good space, let the wounds recover and get myself up for the next one.”

Wood wears his heart on his sleeve on and off the field and could not hide his satisfaction at taking up a starring role midway through a contest that has captured the imagination of the public.

“It fills me with great pride to say I can do well against Australia. It’s challenging because they are a top, top side,” he said.

“It’s one of the best feelings I’ve had. Look at facing Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. One, it’s not easy. Two, it’s really intimidating.

“They’re bowling fast, they get good bounce and more often than not they come out on top. Luckily this time it’s the one out of 100 I’ve managed to get through.

“The 2005 Ashes was the absolute pinnacle for me – I was at a great age, a teenager, and my hometown hero (Steve Harmison) was playing.

“I don’t feel like it’s to that magnitude, but it’s great to have the support, which has been amazing everywhere we’ve been. You feel it on the street walking around, people messaging you. It’s amazing as a nation that we can carry this weight of support with us.”

Harry Brook announced himself on the Ashes stage with a match-winning knock for England that kept the series alive and delivered another memorable Headingley climax.

Brook batted with great maturity as he made a steely 75, taking a decisive chunk out of the 251-run target and set a fire under this summer’s rivalry, leaving Australia 2-1 ahead with two to play.

The Yorkshireman fell with 21 still needed as the third Test descended into nerve-shredding tension, but Mark Wood cut through the anxiety with a feisty 16 not out and Chris Woakes completed a remarkable return to the Test arena by crunching the winning runs towards the delirious Western Terrace to finish unbeaten on 32.

England’s three-wicket win was achieved despite Ben Stokes’ dismissal for just 13, a soft nick down the leg-side robbing the hosts of their inspirational captain and the architect of their 2019 Ashes miracle at the start of the decisive final session.

But in Brook they had a new hero, ready to carry the burden all the way to final furlong before passing it over to Woakes and Wood – making an emphatic first impression on their belated introductions to the series.

England need another 224 runs at Headingley to keep the Ashes series alive – and Chris Woakes hopes they can summon the spirit of 2019 to get them over the line on Sunday.

The hosts closed on 27 without loss in pursuit of 251 – a tricky ask as they have to better a first-innings 237 – after Australia were skittled for 224 on a truncated day three of the third Test.

Adding to the tension is the knowledge they will lose the series at the earliest possible opportunity if they fall short in the chase as they currently trail 2-0, although the target is some way below the 359 they were set by Australia four years ago.

On that occasion, England sealed a nerve-shredding one-wicket win to breathe fresh life into their campaign and Woakes recognises there will be similar momentum shifts and anxious spells on Sunday.

“I hope so, because that means we win the Test match,” said Woakes, when asked if they can channel the 2019 win over their arch rivals. “It would be nice to do it a little bit easier this time.

“There’s a full day ahead of us and we know what we’ve got to get. To chalk a few off is really nice and to finish the day none down is a real positive for us.

“We know we can chase scores as a team. It certainly suits us which is a good thing. The scores haven’t been overly high in this game, so you don’t just walk into it thinking it’s going to be a doddle.

“Naturally in a run chase there’s always nerves. But they are good nerves. The thought of winning the Test, chasing down a score and keeping yourself in the series. It’s more excitement than nerves.”

Woakes and Stuart Broad finished with three wickets apiece on Saturday, while Australia added 108 to their total in just 20.1 overs, largely due to Travis Head’s fine 77, which included three sixes.

There are certain to be some nerves on Sunday, but the total England have been asked to get does not crack the top five at this ground. Indeed, England have overhauled more twice in the last four years.

The magic numberCarey kept quiet

Alex Carey had been a stubborn presence at seven with the bat, passing double figures both times at Edgbaston and Lord’s and making a crucial half-century at the former. His controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow made him a pantomime villain, but, while his glove work remains immaculate, he has been dismissed in Leeds for single figures twice. Carey came to the crease on Saturday after Cricket Australia had refuted a bizarre story about him failing to pay for a haircut, but there was no close shave for the wicketkeeper as an attempted leave off Woakes thudded into his gloves and then, a little unfortunately, clipped his stumps.

Tweet of the day

Fans were left to their own devices for a large chunk of the day because of intermittent showers leading to a near six-hour delay, with only 25.1 overs sent down when play started at 4.45pm. And when you cannot watch the Ashes, what better way to entertain yourself than by playing concourse cricket pretending you are in them? Walking around the ground, there were multiple games that had broken out at the back of the sheltered stands. The size of the bat varied, from regulation to miniature, tennis balls were used and supporters got imaginative with stumps. But those participating – young and old and for a brief period including a policeman batting – at least found a way to pass the time.

Moeen’s economy class

Moeen Ali’s most tangible contribution of the day was not an elegant drive or a ripping delivery through the gate, but a football-style sliding tackle to prevent a boundary. The renowned Liverpool fan was not called upon to bowl as Woakes, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood took care of Australia, meaning Moeen finished the second innings with figures of 17-3-34-2. Going at exactly two an over is his best economy rate in an innings since December 2015 and second best in his Test career (with a minimum of six overs bowled).

Chris Woakes called on England to channel Headingley 2019 and drag themselves back into the Ashes – although the seamer hopes there is a more straightforward path to victory.

England closed on 27 without loss in pursuit of 251, a tricky ask as they have to better a first-innings 237, after Australia were skittled for 224 on a truncated day three of the third Test.

Adding to the tension is England knowing they will lose the series at the earliest possible opportunity if they fall short in the chase, although the target is some way below the 359 they were set four years ago.

On that occasion, England sealed a nerve-shredding one-wicket win to breathe fresh life into their campaign and Woakes recognises there will be similar momentum shifts and anxious spells on Sunday.

“I hope so, because that means we win the Test match,” said Woakes, when asked if they would invoke the spirit of 2019 in pursuit of 224 more runs. “It would be nice to do it a little bit easier this time.

“There’s a full day ahead of us and we know what we’ve got to get. To chalk a few off is really nice and to finish the day none down is a real positive for us.

“We know we can chase scores as a team. It certainly suits us which is a good thing.

“The scores haven’t been overly high in this game, so you don’t just walk into it thinking it’s going to be a doddle.

“Naturally in a run chase there’s always nerves. But they are good nerves. The thought of winning the Test, chasing down a score, and keeping yourself in the series. It’s more excitement than nerves.”

Both Woakes and Australia batter Travis Head were involved in a clash that went down as an Ashes classic, with Ben Stokes’ 135 not out getting England over the line in dramatic fashion.

“It’s fair to say that it’s a nice place to be with the series on the line and hopefully we can redeem ourselves from 2019 at this place,” said Head, who bolstered Australia on Saturday with a fine 77.

Woakes has been quietly instrumental in his first Test of the Bazball era after 16 months out of the side, initially missing out through injury and then sliding down the pecking order.

He has taken three wickets in both innings, all of them in Australia’s top-seven, in his first home match in the format since September 2021.

He acknowledged his dismissal of Australia linchpin Marnus Labuschagne – third in the Test batting rankings – on the opening day helped him to settle.

“Getting the call shows the backing from the coach and the captain, and to get a big scalp like Marnus is a bit of a relief and shows faith in the decision to play,” Woakes added.

“The fact I haven’t played in front of a crowd in England for a couple of years brings out that emotion in you when you hear that roar. It’s easy to forget how good it is when you haven’t played for a while.”

England last summer made a habit of reeling in high targets under Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, successfully chasing down four 275-plus scores.

But, as in 2019, Woakes may at some point be called to strap on the pads in a bid to avoid Australia moving into an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

“The excitement and chance of winning a Test match in an Ashes series is fantastic but we also realise we’re still 220 runs away from that,” said Woakes

“There’s some hard work to be put in. Australia will be thinking they’re 10 wickets away from winning an Ashes series in England as well, so it’s an exciting day for both teams.”

England’s hunt for Australian wickets was halted by the weather at Headingley, with the third morning of the third Ashes Test washed out.

Morning showers on Saturday meant no play was possible before lunch, which was brought forward to 12.30pm as ground staff began the cleaning up operation.

The match is poised on a knife edge, with the tourists 142 runs ahead after being reduced to 116 for four in their second innings.

Travis Head and day-one centurion Mitch Marsh were the not out batters for Australia, who are already 2-0 up in the series after victories at Edgbaston and Lord’s and can claim the urn with a win on Yorkshire territory.

The break in play could help ease some of England’s ailments, with Ollie Robinson yet to bowl since suffering back spasms on the first day and captain Ben Stokes nursing a selection of injuries and niggles.

England owe their position in the game to Stokes’ defiant 80, with Moeen Ali hailing the skipper’s magnetic qualities and their effect on the side.

“Ben’s a brilliant player. He’s the one player in the world who everyone will be thinking about in that situation, especially against Australia because he has done it a couple of times now,” said the spinner, who took the key wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith on Friday evening.

“Whether it’s a white ball or a red ball, as long as he’s there you’ve always got a great chance of winning. It’s the situations more than anything, he loves those situations, he thrives off them.

“His body has obviously been through a lot but there’s one thing with Ben, he can’t do anything without it being 100 per cent. Hopefully he’ll get through this series well, scoring a lot more runs.

“It’s the situations more than anything, he loves those situations, he thrives off them. But we can’t rely on him all the time. We do have dangerous players who we just need to come to the party as well as Ben. Ben’s playing brilliantly but there are runs out there for other players.”

England will be eyeing early Australia wickets as thoughts drift to what might be a manageable chase for the hosts in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.

While there may be weather-related interruptions with storms forecast on Saturday, there are still three days in which to force a result after Australia went to stumps on 116 for four and a lead of 142.

Ben Stokes had earlier been England’s hero again, dragging them from 87 for five to 237 all out with a belligerent 80 containing five sixes, while Mark Wood chipped in with an astonishing eight-ball 24.

Moeen Ali then took the key wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith in a tidy spell, with Australia unable to get away even though Stokes and Ollie Robinson were unable to bowl for England.

Captain Marvels

Despite his body appearing to be in rebellion against him – adding to his left knee trouble is hip discomfort for which he took a couple of pain-killing tablets – England captain Stokes conjured another defiant innings to get his side within touching distance of Australia’s first innings. His opposite number Pat Cummins also led from the front with six for 91. While he possesses an outstanding record in England with 47 wickets in nine Tests at an average of 22.02, this was his first five-for on UK soil.

Six of the best

Stokes pumped Australia’s rookie off-spinner Todd Murphy over the boundary rope five times to extend his lead over Kevin Pietersen for most Ashes sixes.

Wood fires

Having burst on to the scene with his breakneck pace on day one – averaging a searing 90.5mph across 11.4 overs which yielded a maiden five-wicket haul in England – Mark Wood showed no sign of slowing down after trading leather for willow. Wood’s template for backing away and swinging brought boundaries from his first three balls and three sixes in his first six balls. His luck finally ran out when another mighty heave across the line took the top-edge to mid-on. Still, Wood’s quickfire 24 roused England.

Broad problems for Warner

It was groundhog day again for David Warner, who has been well and truly muzzled in Leeds by his nemesis. It was bowled Stuart Broad, caught Zak Crawley, for a second time in two days after the Australia opener was squared up as he edged into the cordon. He will not look back fondly on this Test after scores of four and one, lasting just five balls in each innings.

Moeen at the double

Has any Test career fluctuated as much as Moeen Ali’s? Recalled after his finger drama at Edgbaston, Moeen seemed to lack a bit of snap in his action early on but then snared Labuschagne and Smith for his 199th and 200th Test wickets – albeit after some loose shots from the Australia pair. While Moeen, who held up an end as he conceded just 34 off his 17 overs in a row, often comes in for criticism, only Derek Underwood (297) and Graeme Swann (255) have more Test wickets among English spinners.

Bairstow blunders continue

Since controversially superseding Ben Foakes and donning the wicketkeeping gloves at the start of the summer, Jonny Bairstow’s doubters can only have grown after a subpar showing behind the stumps. His catching success rate in this series hovers at just over 50 per cent (nine pouched and eight dropped) and while it is true at least a couple of his put downs would have required outstanding reflexes, he has shelled more routine efforts. His reprieve of Labuschagne down the leg-side edged towards the latter. It was his third drop of the match but did not too prove too costly after Labuschagne was out next ball while Bairstow might have redeemed himself slightly in some English eyes with an inoffensive send-off of Smith, who seemed to take exception to being told ‘See ya, Smudge’.

Jonny Bairstow’s hopes of exacting revenge on Australia ended in disappointment at Headingley, as England’s batting faltered again on the second morning of the third Ashes Test.

The hosts lost four for 74 in the first session – Bairstow, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes all picked off by a ruthless attack – to leave their side 121 behind on 142 for seven.

Captain Ben Stokes (27no) was once more carrying the burden of hope for his team despite being in clear physical discomfort at the crease.

Bairstow’s controversial stumping at Lord’s sparked a furore about the ‘spirit of cricket’, with England insistent they would not have claimed the dismissal and the tourists unapologetic about playing to the letter of the law.

Bairstow has yet to have his say on the matter but he missed the chance to let his bat do the talking in front of his home crowd, nicking Mitchell Starc to slip for 12 as Australia made vital early inroads.

Fellow Yorkshireman Root had already departed, edging Pat Cummins’ second ball of the morning to David Warner as England’s overnight 68 for three lurched to 87 for five inside seven overs.

Stokes was fighting through the pain barrier to keep the contest alive, moving awkwardly as fresh niggles apparently added to his existing left knee problem.

He admitted in his pre-match press conference that his efforts in the second Test, where he bowled a gruelling 12-over spell and made a brilliant 155 in the second innings, had “taken quite a bit out of me” and required treatment midway through the session.

England already had injury concerns over seamer Ollie Robinson, who left the field on day one with a back spasm.

Root’s early exit, cramped for room by Cummins’ precision around off stump but perhaps a little too eager to play, sucked the life out of a crowd that had poured in hoping for a big show from their local favourites. Bairstow gave them a couple of boundaries to cheer but was tempted into a big swing as the left-armer Starc angled one towards the cordon.

Stokes and Moeen (21) played against their attacking instincts in a stand of 44, only occasionally taking the bowlers on as they favour a more pragmatic method. Moeen eventually cracked after being tempted once too often by Cummins, pulling a bouncer straight into the hands of fine leg.

Woakes managed one hook for six before he joined the exodus in the final over before lunch, nicking another short one from Starc to expose the England tail.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow can bat away their costly dropped catches as England look to assume control of an evenly-poised third Test at Headingley.

The Yorkshire pair each put down two chances on the opening day, with Root’s spillage of Mitch Marsh on 12 especially expensive as the recalled Australia all-rounder went on to make a run-a-ball 118.

Mark Wood took five for 34 with his breakneck pace as Australia were all out for 263, with Root and Bairstow unbeaten at stumps as England, 2-0 down in the five-match series, closed on 68 for three.

Much has been made of how Bairstow might react after his controversial stumping at Lord’s but he will be hoping his bat can do the talking as it did so emphatically did during last year’s golden summer.

What they said

Four years on from his most recent Test appearance – when he declared “most of Australia hate me” because of his inconsistency – Marsh might be feeling the love even more after his rescue-act. Called in because of a niggle to Cameron Green, the 31-year-old flayed his third Test hundred – all of them have come against England – and chipped in with the wicket of Zak Crawley for good measure.

Butter-fingered England

England’s subpar fielding in this series has frequently been cited as the major difference between the two sides – and there were another four dropped catches on Thursday. Bairstow can be forgiven for being unable to reel in a tough chance when Steve Smith was on four but the England wicketkeeper put down an easier chance down the leg-side when Travis Head was on nine. Root then put down regulation catches with Marsh on 12 and Alex Carey on four before slamming the ball into the turf in frustration at himself after holding on to Head. In total, the lackadaisical efforts cost England a whopping 158 runs.

England grateful for five-star Wood

Fitness concerns precluded Wood’s involvement at Edgbaston and Lord’s but he was worth the wait after dealing almost exclusively in speeds upwards of 90mph here, topping out at 96.5mph. He ended his first spell by flattening the leg stump of Usman Khawaja while he wiped out Australia’s lower order to finish with his first five-wicket haul at home. Every ball he bowled was an event with none of Australia’s batters looking comfortable against him. Wood has been a must-have overseas but this display summed up what a handful he can be in any conditions and why England are desperate to keep him on the park.

Headingley boo-boys

Emotions have been running high so there was some anticipation – and maybe a little trepidation – at how Headingley’s Western Terrace crowd would react. One of the liveliest and noisiest stands in the country made their presence felt by booing Australia captain Pat Cummins at the toss, while Carey was serenaded with ‘stand up if you hate Carey’ when he was batting. They seemed delighted by Cummins getting a two-ball duck and Carey being sconed on the helmet by Wood – even if the pair’s days ended better. Given they were at the forefront of the controversial Bairstow stumping at Lord’s, how they were received in Leeds is no surprise. The pantomime jeers of Smith and David Warner seem to have returned as well, harking back to how they were welcomed in England in 2019 after ball-tampering bans. Overall, though, any nerves at tensions potentially boiling over appear to have been unfounded.

Warner’s unsweet 16

Stuart Broad has enough time to climb to the top of this list with a possible five more innings at Warner, for whom retirement might not be able to come soon enough. The Australia opener’s latest downfall to his nemesis came when he was persuaded to push away from his body with the ball kissing the edge and carrying to Crawley, who pouched a chest-high catch at second slip.

Robinson squashed?

Ollie Robinson’s relatively quiet series continued as he went wicketless in his first 11 overs before trudging off the field after sending down just two balls of his 12th before tea. An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson confirmed a back spasm had curtailed his day. As for whether he will be able to bowl in Australia’s second innings, watch this space.

A burst of breakneck speed from Mark Wood breathed life into England’s Ashes campaign as the third Test got off to a feisty start at Headingley.

Four days on from the stumping controversy that dogged the previous match at Lord’s, Wood bamboozled Australia with express pace that topped 96 miles per hour and claimed five for 34 in the tourists’ 263 all out.

A one-man show from comeback kid Mitch Marsh was responsible for the majority of those runs, but his breathtaking run-a-ball 118 would not have been possible had Joe Root not put him down at slip with just 12 to his name.

That was one of four drops for an England side whose collection of missed chances is starting to become a worrying theme of the summer.

Root, with 19 not out, has the chance to make amends with the bat on day two with England 68 for three in response.

With him at the crease is Jonny Bairstow, the man at the centre of last Sunday’s flashpoint dismissal and one who always brings his best when there is a score to settle.

Australia’s struggles either side of Marsh’s fireworks – four for 91 in the morning session and a collapse of six for 23 as Wood mopped up – went down well with a raucous crowd, who booed and barracked the opposition with gusto all day.

The two players involved in Bairstow’s controversial dismissal copped the worst of the anger but both held their nerve, Cummins dismissing Ben Duckett and Harry Brook and Carey pulling off a fine leaping catch.

But the moment belonged to Wood, making his first Test appearance since December and held back for the first two matches due to worries over his fitness, as he recorded his best ever performance on home soil.

Stuart Broad dismissed David Warner for the 16th time in 29 matches inside the first over of the third Ashes Test at Headingley.

Having already snared Warner in the first Test last month, Broad was into his long-time adversary again in Leeds, having him caught in the slips for four.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at their duels over the years to see how they have historically fared against each other.

2021-2022 Ashes

While Warner was run out by his nemesis at Adelaide, it was not until the fourth Test at Sydney where Broad had the left-hander in his pocket with a trademark outswinger pouched at second slip. Warner also fell to Broad in the next Test at Hobart after holing out to Ollie Pope at point.

2019 Ashes

Broad had Warner’s number throughout the series, dismissing him seven times across 10 innings as the tactic of bowling from round the wicket left the usually tenacious top-order batter hesitant of where his off-stump was. Warner managed just 95 runs across the five Tests at a meagre average of just 9.5 in a torrid tour. Broad was England’s leading wicket-taker in the series (23) and even ended up with a higher batting average (12.2) than Warner.

2017-18 Ashes

Less than two years earlier and it was Warner who held the upper hand in the head-to-head contest. Broad had a poor series by his lofty standards with just 11 wickets across the whole series while Warner amassed 441 runs at 63. He was dismissed by the likes of Jake Ball, Craig Overton and even Joe Root but not once by Broad.

2015 Ashes

Broad was the leading wicket-taker on either side with 21 dismissals at 20.9 but he was never able to dislodge Warner, who amassed 418 at 46.44. Even in Broad’s career-best eight for 15 at Trent Bridge which swung a see-saw series England’s way, it was Mark Wood who prised out Warner.

2013-14 Ashes

After months of being baited by the Australian media for his memorable refusal to walk in the series opener between the teams, Broad accounted for Warner en route to recording six for 81. While Warner nicked off in the second innings to Broad, it came after the Australian’s belligerent 124 gave his side the upper hand. Broad got him twice more in the series where he took 21 wickets, a rare bright spot in England’s 5-0 whitewash defeat. Warner was key to the result after racking up 523 runs at 58.11.

2013 Ashes

Warner made his Ashes debut in the third Test at Old Trafford, just weeks after being hit with a suspension for an unprovoked attack on Joe Root in a Birmingham nightclub. Warner’s rivalry with the fast bowler who would go on to become his tormentor began in the next Test at Chester-le-Street when he was castled for a duck in the first innings. It was the only time in the series Warner fell to Broad, whose 11 for 121 in the north east remains his career-best match figures.

Sarah Glenn said there was still room for improvement after England defeated Australia by three runs in a thrilling finale at the Kia Oval to keep alive their hopes of regaining the Ashes.

Danni Wyatt hit 76 with the bat as the hosts racked up a first-innings lead of 186 to leave the tourists with a target that proved just our of reach, despite a brilliant late flourish from Ellyse Perry who hit sixes off the final two balls.

Both sides suffered from collapses midway through their innings with England losing four wickets in 13 balls before Sophie Ecclestone smashed 22 from 12 balls to ensure a strong finish.

Australia’s middle order fared little better as they found themselves requiring 112 from their final 10 overs to secure the victory that would have sealed the series.

Glenn admitted that emotions were running high after her side inflicted Australia’s first loss in any format since 2021, but said improvement was still required if they are to find the four wins still needed to reclaim the Ashes.

“So many emotions, really happy, some of us are a bit emotional as it’s been a long time coming,” said Glenn. “We’ve had lots of really close calls and we’ve always known we can beat them as well.

“It’s just actually getting over the line against a top line-up who have had momentum for a long time, so we’re really proud.

“We’ve taken out that frustration and little things we could work on and implement it into this game which I thought we did really well.

“There’s still room for improvement as always, but we were really clear in the pressure moments.”

England still need to win the final T20 international at Lord’s on Saturday before attentions turn to the three ODIs that will conclude the series.

Defeat in the Test at Trent Bridge plus last Saturday’s four-wicket T20 loss at Edgbaston means nothing short of a perfect record will do in spite of the heroics at the Oval.

“We’re just really humble as a team,” said Glenn. “We really enjoy that victory for each wicket but we really switch on quickly to what we need to do next. That’s what we’ve done really well as a unit with the bat and the ball.

“We’re really confident. It’s super exciting, we really improved from the last game but there’s still a lot to come form us as well.

“We’ll celebrate the win definitely, but they’re a top-class side and they’ll come back just as hard or harder. We need to try and get over the line again and keep that momentum with us.”

Australia’s Alyssa Healy reflected on a success for women’s cricket after a crowd of 20,000 packed into the Oval for the occasion, but said her side had only themselves to blame for allowing England back into the game.

“It was a great game of cricket at one of the most iconic grounds in England, which a great showcase for women’s sport,” said Healy. “You see what you can do when you play on a good ground with a good wicket, people want to turn up and watch.

“We were slightly off in every facet of the game. We mentioned it after the last game and we were probably a little bit worse again tonight.

“We didn’t quite execute with the ball and probably let them back in at the back end. With the bat we probably had a little bit of a handbrake on at times and and couldn’t get ourselves going.”

Ben Stokes is on a mission to “keep the Ashes alive” in the third Test and the England captain could not imagine a better place to do it than Headingley.

After the tension of Edgbaston and the controversy of Lord’s, Stokes’ side find themselves in do-or-die territory as they seek to regain the urn for the first time since 2015.

The odds are stacked against them, needing a hat-trick of victories against the recently crowned Test world champions, but when they step out on the field in Leeds they will not need reminding that sporting miracles can happen.

It was here four years ago that Stokes scored a sensational 135 not out to salvage a seemingly lost cause, putting on an improbable 76 for the last wicket with Jack Leach. Rewind to 1981 and it was Sir Ian Botham and Bob Willis dragging England over the line from odds of 500-1.

With the crowd likely to be whipped into a frenzy from ball one due to the resentment over local hero Jonny Bairstow’s stumping last Sunday, the stage is already set for another memorable week.

“I don’t know what it is about Headingley. We’ve had some pretty special memories here and you’re always thinking it’d be great to make another one,” Stokes said.

“I think the magical thing that would happen this week is for us to win the game and keep the Ashes alive, to be honest.

“We’ve got some very fond memories here as an England team and I’m sure supporters have got some fond memories as spectators as well.

“The game four years ago was probably the highlight for the guys who were there, but even going back before we were born there was Beefy (Botham) and Bob as well. I think 1981 and 2019 will probably come up at some point around the ground.

“The crowd here is amazing, the atmosphere always is too. When we’re on top they get going even more, but even when things are slow and maybe we’re not having the success that we want to in any given situation, they’re still going wild.

“I think they might be a little bit ramped up this week, for some reason.”

While Stokes left the last part of that sentence unresolved, it does not take an expert to read between the lines.

Alex Carey’s divisive removal of Bairstow during a pivotal moment of England’s fourth-innings chase sparked fury at the time and has led to four solid days of reprisals, with Prime Ministers Rishi Sunak and Anthony Albanese even wading in to the ‘spirit of cricket’ of debate.

Stokes has made his disappointment plain and, with the series on the line, is now happy to leave it behind.

“I think there’s obviously been a lot of noise around the incident last week at Lord’s but, from me as a captain, I think the best thing that everyone needs to do is just move on from it,” he urged.

The perilous nature of England’s situation is not lost on Stokes, who would become the first captain since 2001 to lose to Australia on home soil, but he refuses to believe defeat would be a terminal moment for the ‘Bazball’ experiment.

In fact, he feels the simplicity of the equation ahead – win, win and win again – will appeal to his team.

“The Ashes is obviously over if things don’t go well, but the team isn’t over if it doesn’t go well,” he said.

“We will have two games after that and then we’ll have other series after that to keep going. But we understand where we’re at in the series and we know what we need to do.

“It may sound daft but the situation we find ourselves in is sort of perfect for what we have been speaking about as a group in the dressing room, about what we want to do and how we want to go about it.

“This is that moment, it starts here at Headingley and we’ve got to win this game.”

England have freshened up their team by changing both the personnel and the balance. Harry Brook steps up from number five to number three, the spot vacated by injured vice-captain Ollie Pope, while Moeen Ali, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes all return as James Anderson and Josh Tongue step down.

Potentially the most intriguing aspect of those changes is the belated introduction of Wood. He is comfortably the fastest bowler currently available, capable of clearing 96mph, and in the continued absence of Jofra Archer and Olly Stone his return to could not have come at a better time.

Wood was the only England player whose reputation was enhanced during the last Ashes tour in 2021-22 and Stokes is pleased have a new weapon at his disposal.

“It’s great to have Woody back in this game,” he said. “I’m excited that we’ve got him in a place where he’s able to walk onto the field and play a part in the summer.

“Tonguey was bowling high 80s last week, and I think he performed fantastically well, so to have someone who can bowl high 90s is pretty exciting. Woody’s not just an out-and-out bloke who runs in and tries to hit people – he is a very skilful bowler as well.”

England and Australia will renew their Ashes battle at Headingley on Thursday, four days after Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal sparked a controversy that escalated far enough to draw in the Prime Ministers of both nations.

The hosts are 2-0 behind and need to win to keep the series alive, while their opponents have the chance to become the first Australia team to win in England since 2001.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the key issues heading into the game.

What impact will the Bairstow row have?

Alex Carey’s decision to throw down Bairstow’s stumps when the Englishman felt the ball was dead may well have changed the whole tone of the series. Relations between the teams are sure to be frostier, while Ben Stokes’ furious century in the immediate aftermath of the incident suggested something had been awoken in the home team. Can England harness that righteous anger in the right way and can others follow Stokes’ lead? Will Bairstow continue his career-long habit of turning in big performances when he feels most under pressure? Will Carey dare try it again? Finding out the answers to these questions should prove entertaining.

Headingley hostility

If Australia were taken aback by the vitriol they attracted at Lord’s, where even the usually serene environment of the Long Room took a turn, then they can expect the volume to be turned up again in Leeds. It would be no surprise if the touring side had to draw straws to find out who takes up fielding duty in front of the Western Terrace, a notoriously raucous stand that will be eager to make its collective voice heard. Measures are being taken to ensure things do not cross a line, but England will hope the partisan atmosphere serves them well.

A new-look England attack

The congested schedule meant England always planned to rotate their bowlers they have chosen this week to roll the dice, with record wicket-taker James Anderson making way alongside rookie Josh Tongue. Most striking is the return of Mark Wood, whose ability to bowl at speeds of more than 96mph mark him out as a major point of difference. Australia struggled with his pace at times in the last Ashes series and Stokes will be delighted to have his Durham colleague back. Moeen Ali is also ready after missing Lord’s, meaning a specialist spin option and some headaches for Australia’s left-handers. Finally there is a first appearance of the ‘Bazball’ era for the ultra-reliable Chris Woakes, whose record in England is outstanding.

Brook on the up

Harry Brook enjoyed a remarkable first winter in Test cricket, scoring four centuries in Rawalpindi, Multan, Karachi and Wellington, but has yet to make a major mark on his first Ashes campaign. He has played some thrilling strokes but has also found unusual ways to get out and has a top score of 50. With that backdrop, England’s decision to promote him to number three in place of the injured Ollie Pope is a bold call. He has batted there before in his early days for Yorkshire, with limited success, but he enjoys the full trust of a dressing room that believes he can be a match-winner from any position. If the switch pays off, it could set the game up for England.

Another Smith century

Former Australia skipper Steve Smith is no stranger to reaching three figures on English soil, having scored centuries in 16 Ashes Tests here. His latest landmark is guaranteed, as he earns his 100th cap. Ten players have marked that occasion with a century in the past, with two of those on the field this week – Joe Root and David Warner. Smith will be going all out to join them on that list and an average of 61.82 in these conditions suggest he has all the pedigree to do so.

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