The Ashes: England lose four wickets in final hour at MCG as Australia close in on series win | Cricket News

England closed the second day at 31-4, detached by 51, in the third Ashes Test; Mitchell Starc took two wickets in two balls and Scott Boland took two in three balls as the tourists plummeted again in the last hour after Australia had been eliminated for 267 with James Anderson taking 4-33

Last updated: 27/12/21 7:55


Australia snatched the top spot from England in the last hour

A disastrous last hour ruined what had been England’s best day of this Ashes series until Australia came close to victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Tourists finished the second day 31-4, still 51 points behind, while Mitchell Starc (2-11) and Scott Boland (2-1) snatched first place with two wickets each; the only comfort for England is that Joe Root (12th) survived the day and will start again on the third day with Ben Stokes (2nd) in company.

Prior to that late slump, it had been England’s day with bowlers working hard and making the most of a seamer-sized surface to take out Australia for 267, limiting the first inning lead to 82 with James Anderson. the choice of attack, taking 4-33.

However, all this good work was nullified by excellent Aussie bowling late in the day, Starc knocked out Zak Crawley (5) and Dawid Malan (0) in successive balls and Boland sent off Haseeb Hameed (7) and the night watchman. Jack Leach (0) in the space of three balls to leave England who need something special to avoid defeat, both in the match and in the series.

More to follow …

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