THE ASHES, 2019
An unbeaten century stand between Joe Denly and Ben Stokes put England in control © AFP
It always felt like a good batting day. Rory Burns and Joe Root failed to bring that theory to life in the first session but Ben Stokes and Joe Denly did in the second session, compiling an unbeaten 106 – run stand that saw England plaster 105 runs and lose no wickets between Lunch and Tea on Day 3.
There was less in the pitch than on other days, agreed, and it was apparent as soon as the first over in the session, when Pat Cummins pitched one fuller in hope and saw Denly drive one through covers. Things were quiet for a bit after that first over, until Stokes decided to take Lyon on. And he did that successfully once in the 38 th over, using his feet for a loft over cover, but tried some adventure again and saw Steve Smith drop an edge at first slip.
Denly, meanwhile, got to a fifty, his third in this series to help the charge. Mitchell Marsh was brought on after the first hour but couldn’t have an impact similar to the first innings. Stokes also got to his fifty, in style with a six off Marnus Labuschagne, while Siddle continued to look off-color.
Meanwhile, there was a review that Tim Paine and Australia missed. Denly was on 54 in the 45 th over when Marsh got the ball to come in and hit the pad. Ball-tracking suggested that the ball was going to hit the leg-stump, which left Australia further frustrated.
A huge final session awaits the teams. England are comfortably in front with a 262 – run lead and will look to bat Australia out of the game.
Brief scores:England294 & 193 / 2) Joe Denly 82 *, Ben Stokes 57 *; Nathan Lyon 2 – 46)lead Australia225 (Steve Smith 80, Marnus Labuschagne 48; Jofra Archer 6 – 62)by 262 runs.