England faced a certain defeat at Headingley in the third Ashes Test after they suffered yet another batting collapse and were bowled out for 67 in their first innings. If that was enough, they squandered several chances to get Australia’s danger man Marnus Labuschagne out by dropping him twice in the Aussies’ second innings. At the close of second day’s play, Australia were 171-6, taking their lead to 283 runs.
England’s total of 67 runs was the team’s worst batting performance in the Ashes series since 1948 when they were bowled out for 52 at the Oval cricket ground. England’s 67 is also the team’s 12th lowest Test score of all time, their fourth-lowest at home and their lowest at Headingley.
This also marked a huge reversal of fortunes for England after the home side had restricted Australia to 179 all out in their first innings.
Aussie pacer Josh Hazlewood took 5-30. As for England, Joe Denly was the only batsman to reach double figures with 12 runs. 16 extras were the top-scorer for England, four more than what Denly scored.
When England reduced Australia to 52-3 in the visitors’ second innings, it provided a glimmer of hope to the hosts, but their unusually poor fielding led to Marnus Labuschagne being dropped twice. Labuschagne, who was also caught behind off a no-ball, was unbeaten at 53 at the end of the second day’s play.
Talking about his performance, Hazlewood said, “We didn’t do too much, just put the ball in the right areas and we took our chances. We had a bit of luck.”
England’s performance in the ongoing series has left former cricketers disappointed. Former England captain Michael Vaughan said that the hosts would have taken a lead had they batted for at least 70 overs adding that Australia had retained the Ashes.
Scores in brief
Men’s Ashes: Third Specsavers Test, Headingley (day two of five)
Australia 179 (Labuschagne 74, Archer 6-45) & 171-6 (Laubuschagne 53*)
England 67 (Hazlewood 5-30)