29 Jul The Ashes: England dominate day three as Root dishes bazzball
On day three of the fifth Ashes Test, England seized a golden opportunity to level the series against Australia as they amassed 389-9, securing a substantial lead of 377 over Australia at The Oval.
England’s top-order batsmen laid the foundation for their commanding lead. Zak Crawley set the tone with a boundary off Mitchell Starc’s first ball, leading to an impressive opening partnership of 79 runs with Ben Duckett. Crawley made 73 runs, while Duckett and captain Ben Stokes both scored 42 runs each.
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow further solidified England’s position with a fifth-wicket partnership of 110 runs. Although Root fell short of a century by nine runs, and Bairstow was dismissed for 78, their contributions propelled England’s dominance.
Despite England losing two quick wickets, they managed to build a considerable lead, setting the stage for a historic chase for Australia. The visitors faced the daunting task of completing the highest-ever successful chase in a Test match at The Oval.
England’s performance in the fifth Test exemplified their swashbuckling style, characterised by controlled aggression, positive intent, and crisp shotmaking. Their approach paid off handsomely as they erased the deficit in the opening over, stunning the Australian bowlers and building an unassailable lead.
However, England’s late collapse took some shine off their remarkable day, with the team losing four wickets for just 19 runs. Nonetheless, England’s strong position sets up an exciting series finale. Rain is forecast for Sunday, but it is hoped that it won’t mar the emotional farewell to Stuart Broad, England’s second-highest wicket-taker of all time.