Australia’s middle-order batter Mitchell Marsh scores run-a-ball 118 before England pacer Mark Wood claims 5-34 as visitors get bowled out for 263 on Day 1
Mark Wood celebrates dismissing Australia’s Alex Carey; (right) Mitchell Marsh is ecstatic after scoring his century against England yesterday. Pics/Getty Images, AFP
Mitchell Marsh’s run-a-ball 118 was the cornerstone of Australia’s 263 all out on the first day of the third Ashes Test at Headingley on Thursday after the tourists collapsed either side of his blistering century.
England fast bowler Mark Wood took 5-34 as the hosts backed up captain Ben Stokes’ decision to send the Aussies into bat after winning the toss. But it was also another day of missed opportunity for Stokes’s men as Joe Root dropped a regulation first slip catch off Chris Woakes when Marsh had made just 12.
At the time of going to press, England were 53-2 with opener Zak Crawley and Harry Brook batting on 27 and 14 respectively.
Root drops Marsh
Earlier, Australia would have been 98-5, but for Root’s error and was one that they could ill afford as they look to turn around a 2-0 deficit in the five-match series. Marsh made England pay as he marked his first Test in nearly four years with a superb hundred while sharing a stand of 155 with Travis Head (39). But from 240-4, Australia lost their last six wickets for 23 runs as Durham quick Wood, playing his first Test since the last match of a clean sweep away to Pakistan in December, ripped through the tail. His wickets were badly needed by England, who were a bowler down after Ollie Robinson limped off shortly before tea with a back spasm.
Marsh, only playing after fellow all-rounder Cameron Green was ruled out with a hamstring strain following Australia’s 43-run win at Lord’s last week, took full advantage of Root’s drop in his first Test since he faced England at The Oval in 2019. He drove and cut England’s quicks with authority before lofting Moeen Ali for six to go to 99. A single off the spinner saw Marsh reach his hundred in just 102 balls including 15 fours and three sixes. It was his third hundred in 33 Tests, all his centuries coming against England.
Jeers to cheers
The hangover from England’s controversial defeat at Lord’s continued as Australia took the field for the national anthems to a chorus of boos, with many spectators still upset by the dismissal of local hero Jonny Bairstow, given out stumped when he thought the ball was dead, in the second Test. But the jeers turned to cheers as Stuart Broad struck with just the fifth ball of the day to remove David Warner for the 16th time in Tests, with the aid of a fine slip catch by Crawley.
Wood then bowled the usually obdurate Usman Khawaja between bat and pad for 13 with a 95 mph delivery that flattened the opener’s leg stump.
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