Ashes 2021-22, 4th Test: On a wet Day 1, England strike late, Australia 126/3 at Stumps;

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Ashes 2021-22, 4th Test: On a wet Day 1, England strike late, Australia 126/3 at Stumps – England strike back late on a rain-soaked first day of the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday, putting Australia under strain.

Australia appeared to be in a solid position at 111 for one, with an unassailable 3-0 series lead, until pacemen James Anderson and Mark Wood struck in the space of seven balls.
Australia were 126 for three at the end of only 46.5 overs due to four rain delays, with Steve Smith on six and Usman Khawaja, playing in his first Test since 2019, not out four.
Marcus Harris, fresh off his 76 in Melbourne, battled tenaciously for 38 runs off 109 balls before being trapped on the crease and nicked Anderson to Joe Root at slip.

Wood, rushing in, took the coveted wicket of Marnus Labuschagne for 28 during the next over, leaving Australia at 117-3.

Wood angled one back off a length, and Labuschagne, going to protect from the crease, edged to Jos Buttler, giving England a critical double breakthrough.

Stuart Broad had earlier proven David Warner’s adversary by tempting a thick edge off Warner to Zak Crawley at second slip for 30.

Broad had caught his “bunny” Warner for the 13th time in Ashes Tests after coaxing him to drive at a shorter pitch.

Broad dominated Warner during the 2019 Ashes series in England, torturing the veteran Australian opener from around the wicket and dismissing him seven times in 104 balls.
Warner, who had previously in the series scored 94 and 95, had a significant moment on 21 when he flicked Ben Stokes just past the extended hand of Crawley in the slips for one of his six fours.

His removal came four balls even before third rain break of the day, with Australia leading by 56 runs.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat in order to win the series for the fourth time in a row.

The Ashes are officially out of reach for Joe Root’s England, who were thrashed by Australia by an innings and 14 runs in the third Test in Melbourne, giving Australia a 3-0 lead with two Tests remaining.

It came on the heels of crushing defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, where batting collapses, bad fielding, and questionable choices cost the tourists dearly.

The Sydney Test was also a watershed moment for Root, who led England to a record 60th Test victory, breaking Alastair Cook’s previous record of 59 games in charge.

“I need us to keep working really hard at all aspects of the game,” Root said before the toss of England’s challenge in the series’ final two ‘dead’ Tests.

“It is critical that we maintain our faith and recognise that things do change over time. We must be strong and robust in order to take those risks.”

England’s last Test victory in Australia came in January 2011 at the SCG.

However, officials indicated batsman Travis Head would return to the Australia squad on Friday if his Covid isolation period, which forced him to miss the Sydney Test, expires on Thursday.

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