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Sunday, December 15, 2013

England lose grip on Ashes as they unravel in continuing Perth heatwave: T3D3

Australia 385 & 3/235 (70ov, Warner 112/140b/2x6 17x4, Rogers 54/135b/8x4) lead England 251 ( 88ov, Cook 72, Siddle 3/36, Harris 3/48) by 369 runs with 7 2inns wkts in hand: T3/5 D3/5 at WACA, Perth.

Just about everything that could go wrong for England did today at the WACA: a lower order batting collapse against good quick bowling which handed Australia a lead of 134, followed by a below par response in the field to a 157 opening partnership dominated by the irrepressible David Warner. As if this wasn't enough injuries to Stuart Broad ( broken toe ) and Graeme Swann (hamstring) have reduced the England attack to three frontline bowlers (including Ben Stokes), though Australia surely won't bat much longer on D4. And yes, the Perth heat did not relent.

When England fell apart with the bat it seemed that part of the blame could be ascribed to the pitch, with its irregular bounce (Broad was lbw to a shooter which broke his toe) caused partly by some very wide cracks  (very obvious from spidercam pictures taken directly overhead). But in Australia's second innings it caused  little trouble as Warner and Chris Rogers tamed the England bowlers, who were let down badly in the field (eg Matt Prior was very poor behind the stumps and Alistair Cook missed a slip catch).

Yet Australia once again played exceedingly well: the quick bowlers combined well while Warner's brilliance at the head of the batting took the lead to 369. With two days still to play, and no respite  from the heat expected tomorrow, though a modest drop in temperature to 30C - not exactly a cool change- is forecast for Tuesday,  Australia should have plenty of time to wrap up the Test and series and wrest back The Ashes.

<a href="">Scorecard </a>
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