WICKET! Smith c Malan b Wood 27 (Australia 63-6)
WICKET! Head ct Billings b Wood 8 (Australia 59-5)
WICKET! Boland c Billings b Wood 8 (Australia 47-4)
Here we all are, this 23rd day on the Ashes calendar (give or take a few early finishes), gathered again for another round of story-making because we can’t get enough. If you’re doing this from the earliest of hours in the UK, more and all power to you.
Though they bookended it with a bit of success, it was another reasonably rough day for the visitors yesterday. 17 wickets fell, 10 of them England’s, as another 2-out-all-out performance resulted in 188 runs on the board, 115 short of Australia’s total. Root briefly threatened. Cummins took 4. You know how it goes by now.
There were some fireworks in the last hour as Broad continued his dominance over Warner, Marnus exited and Khawaja succumbed to Wood, and now England will be hoping the steamrolling can continue this afternoon. That England had yet to post in excess of 300 was the prevailing statistic yesterday, and with Australia 150 ahead, they’ll need to mobilise some wickets quickly to give themselves any sniff of an unlikely victory.
The wicket is tough and Australia will look to build that lead however possible, but whatever the case, we can probably expect some explosive cricket because not only is the pitch willing, it may be that both teams are equally willing to finish things off soon, whatever the result.