Australia’s Dominance Continues On Day Three

England was dismissed for 312 Lord’s in the second Test of the Ashes before Australia posted 108/0 in their second innings for a commanding lead of 362 runs at stumps on Day Three.  The English  resumed on 85/4 in their first innings, trailing by 481 runs after the Australians’  first innings declared total of 566/8.  Ben Stokes 38* and Alastair Cook 21* needed a solid partnership with their side having been at 30/4 at one stage.

It was imperative that the pair survived the first hour of play if the Three Lions were to recover from their self-inflicted wounds of the previous day.  Stokes batted well as he continued to play his naturally aggressive game.  Cook held up the other end with his calm and cautious approach.
The pair managed a 145-run partnership before Stokes 87 was bowled by Mitchell Starc (1/86) off an inside edge that cannoned into the leg stump 13 minutes before lunch.  The hosts were 175/5 at the fall of the wicket.  With the home side at 197/5, first innings hero Steve Smith dropped a Cook pull shot at backward square off Mitchell Johnson’s bowling and to further rub salt in the wounds the following delivery was flicked for a boundary towards third man.
Jos Butler (13) was next to go at 210/6 off Nathan Lyon (1/53), after the faintest of edges to keeper Peter Nevill.  The Englishman was already half way to the pavilion before the Australians had finished their appeal.  England was still trailing the Aussies by 356 runs at that point.
Mitchell Marsh (2/23) forced Cook 96 into an error as the latter dragged a seemingly innocuous delivery on to his leg stump off the blade of his bat, with his team trailing by 300 runs at 266/7.  At end of the second session of play, the English were 285/7 trailing by 281 runs and still needed another 82 runs to avoid the follow-on.  After tea, the hosts were in further trouble as Moeen Ali (39) was caught plumb middle stump lbw by a Josh Hazlewood delivery.
Ali’s valiant resistance was ended at 294/8.  Tail-ender Mark Wood (4) didn’t last long either has he was bowled by a full and straight Hazlewood (3/68) delivery for his third wicket of the match 12 runs later at 306/9.  Stuart Broad (21), who had swung at everything under the sun was finally caught at second slip by substitute Shaun Marsh off a Johnson delivery.
England was 312 all out after 90.1 overs and the tourists, with a 254 run lead decided not to enforce the follow-on.  The visitors’ second innings got off to a shaky start as openers David Warner (60) and Chris Rogers (44) played too many outside the off stump and soon after Warner was dropped by Adam Lyth at third slip off a James Anderson delivery.  It would be a big let off as Warner went on to score his half-century and lead Australia to a commanding lead and control of the Test match at the close.
The Australians were 108/0 at stumps with a 362 run lead.
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