Ashes 2022 4th Test, Day 3 Stumps: Australia dominant despite Bairstow defiance in Sydney

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Ashes 2022 4th Test, Day 3 Stumps: Australia dominant despite Bairstow defiance in Sydney – Despite Jonny Bairstow’s best efforts, the hosts increased their lead with the ball in the fourth Test of the Ashes series at the SCG on another rain-affected day.

Bairstow scored England’s first century of the series, but batting with the tail to close the 158-run first innings deficit, he will have more to do tomorrow. Tourists will be allowed to return on 258/7.

Despite the delay, Australia got off to a flying start, with Mitchell Starc dismissing Haseeb Hameed (6) in the fifth over of the first session.

Zak Crawley and Dawid Malan made it through the rest of Pat Cummins and Starc’s first period, but they couldn’t handle what followed next.

Scott Boland, a fan favourite, gave the Sydney crowd plenty to scream about in his second over of the game when he pegged Zak Crawley’s off stump, dismissing the England opener for 18.

After removing Joe Root for a duck three overs later, the Australian fast continued his incredible success in his debut Ashes series.

The England captain mishandled Boland’s delivery outside off stump, nudging the ball to second slip, where Steve Smith took an excellent catch.

Things escalated from bad to worse for the guests as the lunch break approached.

Ashes 2022 4th Test, Day 3 Stumps: Australia dominant despite Bairstow defiance in Sydney

Following that, Australia’s Cameron Green claimed the scalp of Dawid Malan (3), who flicked the ball off his hip to Usman Khawaja at leg slip.

Green’s delivery would be the final of the first session, as England went into lunch with a 36/4 lead and a lot of work ahead of them.

England began their comeback with Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow at the crease after going more than 10 overs without scoring a run and losing three wickets.

It appeared to be Stokes’ lucky day when Cummins dismissed the English all-rounder for nine runs, and he was lucky not to walk three overs later. Green swooped down on Stokes, cutting his stump but leaving the bails intact.

Australia’s blunder paid them dearly, as the England duo put on a 50-run stand before Stokes hit his 25th Test half-century off 70 deliveries.

Stokes was bowled for 66 by Nathan Lyon, who fired into the stumps from around the wicket, and Jos Buttler was given a frigid welcome to the crease by Pat Cummins, who hit him on the glove. Buttler, who was nursing a thumb injury, was bowled for a duck by the Australian captain two overs later.

Bairstow reacted with the tail, enlisting the help of Mark Wood, who smashed three sixes and two fours in a fun evening knock.

Those three sixes came off Cummins’ bowling, but it was the home captain who got the final laugh, as Wood edged onto his helmet and into Nathan Lyon’s hands.

Bairstow made his way into the 90s, accompanied by the steadfast Jack Leach (4*).

Bairstow became the first English player to reach triple figures in the series when he slashed over the top of the slip cordon for a boundary while on 99* in the penultimate over of the day. He’ll be back on 103* the next day.

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