21/04/2024

Jonny Bairstow of England celebrates his century in the last over of day three of the Fourth Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Sydney Cricket Ground. Image: Izhar Khan

Jane McGrath Day was a day to remember for Jonny Bairstow, with the England batter registering his seventh Test century and first for England this Ashes tour on Day 3 at the SCG.

Jane McGrath Day was a day to remember for Jonny Bairstow, with the England batter registering his seventh Test century and first for England this Ashes tour on Day 3 at the SCG.

Rain again delayed the start of play before a rampant Australia owned the short morning session taking four wickets to leave England reeling at 4/36 at Lunch.

A fightback from Ben Stokes and Bairstow after lunch saw England claw their way back into the contest as both batters put pressure back on the Australian bowlers before Stokes fell.

There were injury concerns to both sides as the day wore on in what was a good day in the end for the tourists.

Here are the moments that mattered from Jane McGrath Day at the SCG:

Third time lucky for Starc as Hameed leaves early again after early life

Mitchell Starc was rightly fuming as he headed back to fine leg after completing his second over of the day after a delayed start. After overstepping last night having Zak Crawley caught at slip, he had just seen a catch go down as Alex Carey shelled a chance off a clean nick that looked to again be heading straight to David Warner.

Starc took matters into his own hands at the start of his next over when he bowled Haseeb Hameed with his second ball for just 6. Extending Hamed’s lean run in Australia this series and since his recall to the England team.

Haseeb Hameed is bowled out by Mitchell Starc of Australia during day three of the Fourth Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 07, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Image: Izhar Khan)

Since a pair of 20s at the Gabba, Hameed has now scored five single-figure scores including two ducks.

The opening stand of 22 was England’s highest of the series since the second innings at the Gabba.

Boland’s average continues to drop as wickets continue to tumble before lunch

After making such an impression on his Test debut at the MCG and retaining his place in the side for the SCG, Scott Boland couldn’t have been expected to replicate his second innings heroics where he took 6/7 and played a big hand in Australia retaining the Ashes then and there.

But it continued on at the SCG with the accurate Victorian continuing his dream introduction to Test cricket. Bowling a maiden in the first over and then following it up with a wicket maiden the next over, getting one through the gate of Zak Crawley, dismissing the opener for 18.

Boland entered the SCG Test with a miserly bowling average of just 7.85. That dropped to 6.88 when he removed Crawley. It dropped even further to 6.11 when he dismissed the England captain Joe Root for a duck two overs later. Root playing at one wide off his off stump and well caught by Steve Smith reaching above his head at second slip.

during day three of the Fourth Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Sydney Cricket Ground (Izhar Khan)

It was all part of a nine-over spell full of probing pressure from the Australians in a sequence where they took three wickets and did not concede a run heading into the lunch break.

Cameron Green took the last of the four opening wickets in the session on what was the last ball before lunch where he had Dawid Malan caught by Usman Khawaja at leg slip as England went to lunch at 4/36.

England eventually scored their 37th run of the innings 70 balls after scoring their 36th run.

Stokes gets a life in bizarre circumstances

Every now and again, Cricket reminds us that it is one of the wackiest sports on the planet where the crazy becomes normal.

After a torrid morning session, a hobbled Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow slowly began to tick the scoreboard over and build a much-needed partnership for England before the quirks of cricket rose to the occasion yet again.

Cameron Green started a new spell from the Randwick end and thought he had gotten Ben Stokes caught LBW. Almost on his hands and knees for his appeal, Stokes was eventually given out by umpire Paul Reiffel to the bemusement of Stokes and Bairstow.

Stokes reviewed immediately, confused as to why he was given out. Replays showed that the ball missed the pads by a mile. Instead, the ball smashed into the off-stump but the bails did not dislodge, giving the destructive left-hander a life.

Battling Stokes passes 50 as resistance builds for the tourists

He’s been in the wars and battling injury but Ben Stokes, England’s heartbeat is still fighting for his country. Becoming the first England player not named Joe Root or Dawid Malan.

Still clearly hindered by the side injury sustained yesterday while bowling, Stokes was limited in his output but rode his luck by way of a dropped return catch by Pat Cummins and that bizarre non-dislodgement off Cameron Green, on his way to a half-century as he and Jonny Bairstow built a partnership and led the resistance for England after lunch.

Before the SCG Test, Stokes’ previous high score of the series was 34 in the first innings at Adelaide.

The pair reached tea just shy of their 100 run partnership and should become the first England batters this tour not named Joe Root or Dawid Malan to do so, As England went a session without losing a wicket for the first time since the first session on Day 3 in Adelaide. Only the tourist’s third wicketless session of the series with bat in hand.

Bairstow also passed 50 not long after the tea break as the partnership continued to build.

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Lyon makes timely breakthrough as Bairstow battles on through pain

As the England batters grew in confidence, Stokes and Bairstow started doing the thing that the entire England team had neglected to do the entire series to date and that was; attack Nathan Lyon.

The champion off-spinner’s first eight overs yielded 50 runs on either side of the tea interval, included being deposited into the Victor Trumper and Bill O’Reilly stands. It looked as if Cummins was going to make the change before the off-spinner struck, trapping Ben Stokes on the pads and was then given out for 66.

With Cummins himself in the middle of a spell from the Paddington end, the skipper ran in the next over aiming to turn up the heat on the England batters with a bouncer rearing up off a length and smashing into Bairstow’s thumb on his top hand.

He immediately dropped his bat, completed the run and dropped to the ground in writhing pain, and sought treatment on the ground from the England physios and medical team. He was able to resume batting soon after as he kept on building his score.

Cummins wicket drought comes to an end as Boland heads for a scan

Pat Cummins had been wicketless since the first session on Boxing Day. Quite remarkable when you think that Australia in that time produced an astonishing final hour on Day 2, an hour where he bowled in and somehow didn’t claim a scalp and Australia wrapped up the Test inside three days.

He ended his wicket drought after Tea on Day three when he dismissed Jos Buttler for an eight-ball duck. A simple chip to Khawaja in the covers. It was the sixth time that Cummins had claimed Buttler’s wicket in Test cricket.

It came as news emerged that Scott Boland, Australia’s newest Test hero and chief destroyer in the morning session had left the ground to get a scan after falling heavily in his follow through on the last ball before the tea interval.

As he reached the popping crease, his front foot slid forward once it planted and he took a tumble landing heavily on his arm and side.

Bairstow brings up final a over century to end a winning day for England

After coming in after Lunch with England reeling and copping a blow to the thumb in the middle of his innings after passing 50, There was a roar of relief when Jonny Bairstow cut Pat Cummins away to the boundary in the final over of the day to bring up his century.

His seventh in Test cricket, his second in Australia, and notably, England’s first century of this Ashes tour.

It was an innings of great character. Hurt while facing up having copped several blows from the Australian bowlers. He showed the grit and determination that the rest of the England batting order had been lacking all series in getting to triple figures and making it to stumps unbeaten on 103*.

In reaching the milestone, he became just the fourth man to score multiple Ashes centuries in Australia since the turn of the century.

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