x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

England crush Aussie top order

England bowled out Australia for a mediocre 268 on the opening day of the third Ashes Test at the Waca grounds today.

England bowled out Australia for a mediocre 268 on the opening day of the third Ashes Test at the Waca ground today.

In reply, England was 29 without loss at stumps with skipper Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook set to resume the second day on 12 and 17 runs respectively.

Swing bowlers James Anderson and Chris Tremlett snared three wickets each to send the Australian top order crashing after Strauss had put the home side to bat first on a green-top pitch.

The situation could have been worse for Australia, which slumped to 69 for five just after lunch, but half-centuries from Mike Hussey, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson enabled the hosts to post a decent total before being bowled out 30 minutes before stumps.

Still, England is well positioned to push for a victory that would see the tourists secure a successful Ashes defence, with Australia's bowlers having struggled for wickets over the first two Tests.

England won the second test in Adelaide by an innings and 71 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series.

Tremlett wasted no time in making an impact, bowling recalled Australian opener Phil Hughes for two with the last ball of the first over, and then having the out-of-touch Michael Clarke caught behind for for. He took three for 63 in 23 overs.

In between, James Anderson (3-61) claimed the prized scalp of Ricky Ponting for 12 when the Australia captain was brilliantly caught at third slip by Paul Collingwood, who flung himself to his right at third slip and held on to a one-handed catch.

Ponting, whose scoring shots were three boundaries, hung his bat out at a James Anderson delivery, and another brief innings will increase pressure on the captain to keep his place in the team.

Tremlett deepened Australia's problems when he removed Steve Smith for two in the second over after lunch.

Hussey and Haddin, who also batted Australia out of trouble in the first test, counter-attacked effectively. Hussey hit a six and nine fours as he continued with his imperious form with the bat. With other scores of 195, 93 and 52, he has been Australia's standout batsman of the series.

Haddin, another batsman in form, added 52 runs for seventh wicket with Johnson before another brilliant slip catch ended Haddin's two-hour knock.

Johnson became the unlikely batting hero in his test comeback hitting a six an eight balls.

Earlier, opener Shane Watson, who batted for over an hour for his 13 runs off 40 balls, failed to have a lbw decision overruled by video review. He had an earlier reprieve when he was given out caught down the leg-side off Anderson, but the on-field decision was overruled by third umpire Aleem Dar.

Scoreboard at stumps on the first day in the third Ashes cricket test against Australia and England at the WACA Ground

Australia 1st Innings

Shane Watson lbw b Finn 13

Phil Hughes b Tremlett 2

Ricky Ponting c Collingwood b Anderson 12

Michael Clarke c Prior b Tremlett 4

Mike Hussey c Prior b Swann 61

Steve Smith c Strauss b Tremlett 7

Brad Haddin c Swann b Anderson 53

Mitchell Johnson c Anderson b Finn 62

Ryan Harris b Anderson 3

Peter Siddle not out 35

Ben Hilfenhaus c Cook b Swann 13

Extras (3lb) 3

TOTAL (all out) 268

Overs: 76.

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-17, 3-28, 4-36, 5-69, 6-137, 7-189, 8-201, 9-233, 10-268.

Bowling: James Anderson 20-3-61-3, Chris Tremlett 23-3-63-3, Steve Finn 15-1-86-2, Paul Collingwood 2-0-3-0, Graeme Swann 16-0-52-2.

England 1st Innings

Andrew Strauss not out 12

Alistair Cook not out 17

TOTAL (For no wicket) 29

Overs: 12.

Still to bat: Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matthew Prior, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, Steve Finn, James Anderson.

Bowling: Ben Hilfenhaus 4-2-5-0, Ryan Harris 4-1-16-0, Peter Siddle 2-1-4-0, Mitchell Johnson 2-1-4-0.

Toss: England

Umpires: Marais Erasmus, South Africa, and Billy Doctrove, West Indies.

TV Umpire: Aleem Dar, Pakistan. Match Referee: Jeff Crowe, New Zealand

Series: England leads 1-0.