Stuart Broad admits Marnus Labuschagne’s innings were ended by an unorthodox bail swap that “magically” worked
England will hope Steve Smith’s run-out delay does not prove too costly going into the third inning on the third morning of the final Ashes Test at the Oval, 12 runs behind Australia.
After a chilly morning that saw Australia hit just 54 runs in the morning session, the tourists were down 295 runs by the final ball of the day as Smith used his reprieve to score 71 points.
Despite leading 2-1 and already retaining the ballot box, Australia are desperate to win the Ashes and after a slow morning the pace of the innings picked up and in the end they got away easily against England with Pat Cummins at bottom and Todd Murphy put in 49 for the ninth wicket.
Substitute fielder George Ealham appeared to have repeated Gary Pratt’s moment of glory when he knocked out Ricky Ponting at the Ashes in 2005, but Smith stayed in goal area.
Replays suggested that England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow had begun to tear free one of the stirrups with his arm before catching the ball cleanly, and there was some debate as to whether one of the stirrups was fully detached before Smith’s bat went home slipped.
Follow the score and latest updates from the Oval below.
England 30-0 (4), Crawley 9, Duckett 19, Hazlewood 0-7 (2), lead 18
That’s better from Hazlewood. He keeps moving around the goal area and aims the ball into the off-stump. There’s a hint of seam movement, causing the ball to hold its line, and Crawley nibbles.
However, he plays soft-handed and lags behind Mitchell Marsh in the gully. Five runs from the over.
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:21 am
England 30-0 (3.3), Crawley 9, Duckett 19, Hazlewood 0-7 (1.3), lead 18
England got off to a great start again. They’re scoring more than eight runs per over and showing no signs of slowing down.
Josh Hazlewood deflects the ball straight to Ben Duckett, who whips it beautifully through midwicket for his fourth ball of the day.
A skillful shot ensures that Duckett also goes off the bat with the next ball.
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:19 am
England 25-0 (3), Crawley 9, Duckett 14, Starc 0-22 (2), lead 13
Crawley looks positive.
He moves forward and tries to keep up with the front. Mitchell Starc appears to be aiming for the balls and stumps, pushing the odd throw wide open to get Crawley driving.
The opening goal for England succeeds with the last ball of the over. He throws a long shot and throws his hands hard at the ball. There’s a thick outside edge that takes the ball over the slip chain and away to the third man limit for four!
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:16 am
England 21-0 (2.3), Crawley 5, Duckett 14, Starc 0-18 (1.3), lead 9
Four! Mitchell Starc goes straight for Ben Duckett with a ball, who throws the ball into the fine leg for the boundary. The Australian start does not allow any runs here.
LBW appeal! Starc goes full and straight and pins Duckett on the pads. The Aussies appeal but are dismissed as a strong inside edge saves Duckett.
The opening batter then throws the ball away to the short fine leg and climbs up the other end to get Zak Crawley batting again.
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:14 am
England 16-0 (2), Crawley 5, Duckett 9, Hazlewood 0-2 (1), lead 4
Hazlewood shoves one over Duckett who gets past the bounce and blocks it offside. He calls Crawley for one and goes off strike.
Crawley makes it past the target with a few solid blocks. Three runs come from above.
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:11 am
England 15-0 (1.3), Crawley 5, Duckett 8, Hazlewood 0-1 (0.3), lead 3
Josh Hazlewood opens for Australia from the other end. He pins Crawley to the thigh pad, allowing the batters to go through a single. That delivery was also a no-ball, giving England an extra run.
Duckett moves very slightly over his stumps and slides the ball into the square leg where the fielder stops the single. Duckett again tries to turn the ball into the leg side but is unable to hit the fielder and has to parry the run.
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:09 am
England 13-0 (1), Crawley 5, Duckett 8, Starc 0-13 (1), lead 1
That first delivery was a slacker from Mitchell Starc and Zak Crawley used himself to hit a limit. The next throw has a touch of momentum that brings the ball back into Crawley’s pads. There’s an inside edge that gives the English opener another run.
Ben Duckett defends his first ball as latest version of Jerusalem comes to an end
The left-hander scored freely here in his first innings and wants to start work early. A battered drive hits the fielder in the middle and gives Duckett his first boundary of the day. That’s a nice shot of him.
The last ball of the over is whipped through the gap in the middle of the wicket for four more balls! Huge over for England who also take the lead.
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:06 am
Start of game: England 4-0 (0.1), Crawley 4, Duckett 0, Starc 0-4 (0.1), deficit 8
The dark clouds have all but cleared the ground and it seems an ideal time to bat for England. Mitchell Starc has the new ball for Australia, what can it bring?
Zak Crawley is on strike, hitting the first ball of the inning through cover for four runs!
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 11:01 am
England vs Australia
England batting coach Marcus Trescodick speaks to BBC Test Match Special: “I don’t think you’ll see much of a difference in how we take our punches. We will try to choose the positive option, but we have to be smart sometimes and find that balance for ourselves.
“I don’t think we can judge the weather too much. We’ve looked at it, but we know that our mantra is to put pressure on the opponent again, so that’s generally how we’ll play. If the conditions are in their favor it will be a challenge but we trust our players to do that and judge.
“We’ve done pretty well all summer.
“We saw the conditions change at different stages of the game yesterday depending on whether the sun was shining or how old the ball was. So we know the weirdos will have an impact at some point, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 10:56 am
England vs Australia
Can Australia win the series?
The last time Australia won a series of friendly matches in England was in 2001, but this time Pat Cummins’ side are close to victory.
If they beat England cheaply in that third inning, Australia should win the game and the series. England need to bat well and get a high score to stop them.
Today should be an interesting day.
Mike JonesJuly 29, 2023 10:52 am