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Aggressive Aussies dismiss Stoneman and Root in eventful session

14 decembrie 2017 08:20

Australia pummelled England as the Ashes hosts wrestled back momentum with the prized wickets of Joe Root and Mark Stoneman in the middle session on day one of the third Test in Perth.

England – led by Stoneman's 56 – took the game to Australia before lunch, their aggressive batting approach nullifying the Aussie bowlers at the WACA on Thursday.

However, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins dominated in a relentless spell of tough and fast bowling to halt England and leave the tourists battling at 175-4 at tea following an eventful session which saw Stoneman dropped, struck on the helmet and involved in a contentious DRS decision.

Stoneman celebrated his third Test half-century in the first over post-lunch, bringing up 100 for England with a slashing cut over the slips cordon, after the visitors resumed at 91-2.

But the runs soon dried up for Stoneman, with the 30-year-old fortunate to still be at the crease on 52 after the recalled Mitchell Marsh dropped an easy catch at first slip.

Stoneman was in the thick of the action again when Hazlewood returned the following over – the paceman's ferocious bouncer striking the Englishman on the side of the helmet in a worrying moment.

It caused a near 10-minute delay as Stoneman was assessed by England's medical staff and when play resumed, he was spared another life.

Hazlewood produced a similar delivery and Stoneman, who looked rattled, fended into the air but Nathan Lyon was unable to make the most of the tough chance diving forward from gully.

While Stoneman was spared a couple of lives, Root was not as fortunate, dismissed by Cummins for 20 when he the ball flicked his glove through to Tim Paine down the leg side.

Root was joined by Stoneman in the pavilion within five overs after Australia benefited from a contentious review.

A perfectly executed bouncer from Starc had Stoneman fending at the ball in front of his nose, Paine taking a superb one-handed grab above his head.

Australia's appeals were rejected, leading to a swift review and DRS adjudicated that the ball brushed the batsman's gloves as the not-out call was overturned. The replays did not appear conclusive, leading Root to vent his frustration in the dressing room before Dawid Malan (42 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (14no) made it through to tea.

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