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Australia tops despite late blows in fifth Ashes Test

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Warner was adamant he could turn Broad back on this series, but his nemesis has claimed the points.

Broad sent Warner away with just his second pair in 91 Tests, both of which come from his past seven Ashes matches.

In the 66 balls he faced in this run from Broad, Warner lost his wicket twice for just 25 runs, not as one-sided as 2019 when he fell seven times in 104 balls, but still a win for the Seamer. Warner is open to a new campaign in England next year, but at 36 he couldn’t be better than a 50-50 prospect to get this far.

Khawaja only needed two games to ride the ups and downs of Test cricket. He couldn’t get his gloves out of the way of a well-aimed bumper from Mark Wood, fired for 11 to complete double failures after two tons in his comeback match in Sydney. However, the circumstances were not in his favor.

Pat Cummins takes the wicket from Zak Crawley.

Pat Cummins takes the wicket from Zak Crawley.Credit:Getty Images

These are only minor losses to Australia, who have the chance to knock England out of the game on Sunday on a field that isn’t as punchy as it was on the first afternoon, despite the high number of wickets falling.

There was still enough life, though, for Australia’s attack to tease out the numerous flaws in England’s frontline batters.

Even with the charity of two non-referrals from weak edges, Australia still made a mess of their opponent, who failed to reach 300 in all nine of their innings.

If Warner or Khawaja had kept Woakes’ snicks at zero and five, the door would have been slammed by now. Woakes has done little with the ball, but has had some brawls at number 8, this time with a top score of 36.

Seldom will England have a better chance of dealing a blow to these shores. Their sailors had a green deck first, pitched with another pink ball under lights in Australia’s second innings, and their batters took advantage of the best conditions to make only basic errors to hit.

Ben Stokes found himself unhappy that his fired shot was caught brilliantly by Nathan Lyon, and Dawid Malan was strangled down the side of the leg, but England didn’t help themselves.

For reasons known only to Rory Burns, the controversial opener chose not to dive to the crease in his comeback game and was stabbed by inches after being called through for a furry single from Zak Crawley.

His lack of urgency belies what’s at stake for Burns in this game, receiving a reprimand from former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

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England’s dysfunction at the top of the order means they play with one hand tied behind their back. They have failed to reach double digits in six of their nine innings. Embarrassingly, Australia’s 10th wicket partnership averages more than England’s opening score of 12.77. Australian openers had a hell of a time in 2019, but had Smith to save them.

Burns couldn’t even say it was a hopeless duck, surviving after the hosts didn’t hear a thin edge to Mitchell Starc from the first over of the innings.

Ollie Pope was more composed than the player who was out of his depth in the first two games, but he was lulled to sleep by an unnecessary poke from Scott Boland, which was more menacing than his 1-33 suggested.

Cummins made the most significant breakthroughs for his team, removing Joe Root and Malan in quick succession just as the pair broke through the total of 303 in Australia.

It will be of little consolation to Root that his lbw, for 34, broke a run of eight snicks behind the stumps. As captain, Root has taken the brunt of criticism for his teams’ dire summer, but he has performed admirably with the bat in a series dominated by the bowlers on seam-friendly lanes.

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2/ https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/australia-on-top-despite-late-blows-20220115-p59ogv.html

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