Australia demonstrated resilience in challenging conditions as Travis Head’s exceptional knock of 77 guided them to a total of 224 runs in their second innings. This set England a target of 251 runs to win the third Ashes test.
Former English captain Michael Vaughan has expressed his confidence in England’s ability to chase down the target and said that England have already chased more than four higher scores than 251 in the last year, so they will be very confident.
Earlier, despite a rain delay, the match finally commenced on Saturday evening in Leeds. Australian wickets fell rapidly, raising hopes for England.
However, Head had a different plan in mind. Initially adopting a cautious approach, the versatile batter unleashed an onslaught against the short-pitched bowling strategy, smashing ten boundaries, including three sixes. His remarkable performance added to Australia’s aspirations of retaining the Ashes with two more matches remaining after the ongoing Test.
Unfortunately for the visitors, he was the final wicket to fall, leaving Australia with just five overs to make inroads into England’s batting line-up before the end of the day’s play. English openers Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley successfully weathered the storm, setting the stage for an enthralling finale in a must-win Test for the hosts.
Although Australia had a brief opportunity to trouble the England batters in the remaining overs of the day, Duckett and Crawley displayed resilience and navigated through the challenge unscathed. While a few deliveries posed difficulties, the batters successfully negotiated them.
Vaughan expressed his confidence in England’s ability to chase down the target by putting out a tweet. “Special day on the cards at Headingley,” Vaughan wrote. “England have chased four higher scores than this in the last year, so they will be very confident… What a Test once again.”
Special day on the cards at Headingley .. England have chased 4 scores higher than this in the last year so they will be very confident .. Weather looks good .. Sure we will have a bit of drama but England clear favourites .. What a test once again .. #Ashes
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 9, 2023
Vaughan’s statement adds to the excitement surrounding the match, as England now have a chance to make the series scoreline 2-1. With the fourth day of the Test promising theatre and drama, cricket fans can anticipate an enthralling contest at Headingley.
As the weather looks favourable and England’s recent record in successful chases strengthens their case, all eyes will be on the home team to see if they can rise to the challenge and secure a crucial victory.