In order to keep their hopes alive to make a comeback in the ongoing fourth Test of Ashes 2023, Australia needed something spectacular on the field. The Pat Cummins-led side did not have the momentum but was high in spirit as, over the years, the Kangaroos have shown that nothing is really impossible on a cricket field. However, once again, nothing really went in their favour on Day 3, as England are now in pole position to bring the series back in level terms in Manchester.
The home team started the day really well as both Harry Brook and Ben Stokes hit half-centuries. The skipper played in an aggressive fashion, but Brook took some time. It didn’t bother the team, as runs were flowing pretty easily. After the duo walked back to the pavilion, Jonny Bairstow took the matter into his own hands, as the stumper-batter looked flawless in the middle.
The cricketer faced massive criticism for his performance in the ongoing series, but the team management nevertheless stuck with him, and that probably has given the cricketer a lot of confidence. He was brilliant behind the stumps in the first innings, and with the bat, the cricketer hit 99* runs off 81 deliveries, which completely changed the complexion of the match. However, neither of the tailenders could support him well in the middle, as he missed a very well-deserved century. Nevertheless, England posted 592 runs on the board and took a massive 275-run lead.
Meanwhile, in order to keep their hopes alive, Australia needed a very good start with the bat, but unfortunately, the openers once again failed to deliver. First, Usman Khawaja walked back to the pavilion, and soon, David Warner followed suit. Following this, Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschange tried to build a partnership but failed as Smith’s poor form continued. Later on, Travis Head, too, lost his wicket as Mark Wood looked phenomenal in the middle.
The ace pacer picked up three wickets on Day 3 as Australia are 113 for four and are still 162 runs behind. From here, it will be extremely difficult for them to make a comeback, but they are known for their spirits. On the other hand, England will be extremely optimistic and will be aiming for an Ashes remontada.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) July 21, 2023
— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) July 21, 2023
Jonny Bairstow waiting for Jimmy Anderson later pic.twitter.com/15dhS2pVEs
— Jack (@jack_2831) July 21, 2023
Jonny Bairstow is the only player with 99 and 99* at the same venue in Tests.
Out at 99 v SA at Manchester, 2017
Notout at 99 v AUS at Manchester, 2023#Ashes
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) July 21, 2023
Take a Ba̶i̶r̶s̶t̶ow 👏
— DK (@DineshKarthik) July 21, 2023
One way to counter ‘bazball’ is having one or two skilled spinners in the attack. Then batters with just power won’t be effective, only skilled batters against spin would. And today those are rare to find.
That’s why Aus missing Lyon massively! #Ashes
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) July 21, 2023
Mark Wood vs Steve Smith
Runs – 106
Outs – 4
Avg – 26.5
Runs – 54
Outs – 3
Avg – 18
But no one will talk about this since he’s not Virat Kohli pic.twitter.com/z9IrMHr7xq
— B` (@Bishh04) July 21, 2023
Checking the speedometer after every Mark Wood delivery is my favourite hobby. pic.twitter.com/y3ZwlOx9bI
— Heisenberg ☢ (@internetumpire) July 21, 2023
Mark Wood gets Steve Smith in both innings of this 4th Ashes Test.
Mark Wood – What a bowler! pic.twitter.com/s6uBgrgjSO
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) July 21, 2023