Ashes 2023: England takes slender lead after rain plays spoilsport on Day 3 of Edgbaston Test

By India Today Sports Desk: England have taken a slender lead of 35 runs after rain played spoilsport on Day 3 of the first Ashes 2023 Test at Edgbaston. After bowling Australia out for 386, England ended Day 3 at 28 for 2.

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Australia started the day at 311 for 5 with centurion Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey in the middle. The visitors were expected to go past England’s first innings score of 393 for 8 but the experienced James Anderson got the hosts off to a flying start, cleaning up Carey in the 99th over. This was Anderson’s 1100th first-class wicket as Carey departed after scoring 66 runs off 99 deliveries.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins was the next batter in and stitched a 34-run stand with Khawaja, before the opener was castled by Ollie Robinson. Khawaja, who scored his first-ever century on English soil on Day 2, departed after scoring 141 runs off 321 deliveries, hitting 14 boundaries and three maximums.

Robinson continued his onslaught, sending Nathan Lyon back to the pavilion in his next over. Scott Boland was the next batter to fall as Stuart Broad picked up his third wicket of the innings. Cummins, who held on at one end, hit three sixes in his innings to become the captain to hit the most amount of sixes in an Ashes innings, alongside former England skipper Percy Chapman, who also hit three maximums at Lord’s in the 1930 Ashes.

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However, Cummins could not drag his side past England’s first innings score and was dismissed by Robinson in the 117th over after scoring 38 runs off 62 balls. Australia managed to post 386 runs on the scoreboard, falling seven runs short of England’s tally.

Australia pick early wickets

England started their second innings off in great fashion, scoring 26 runs for no loss in 6.5 overs before it started pouring and play had to be brought to a halt. After about an hour’s delay, the players were allowed back on the field and Australia made the most of the overcast conditions in Birmingham.

The Aussie pacers upped the ante and it paid off as Cummins claimed the wicket of England opener Ben Duckett thanks to a brilliant effort in the slips from all-rounder Cameron Green, who latched onto a catch quite similar to the one he picked in the World Test Championship Final to dismiss India opener Shubman Gill.

Just three balls later, Boland struck to get rid of Jack Crawley, who edged a swinging delivery to wicket-keeper Alex Carey. In fact, Boland has been dominant against Crawley, dismissing the English opener on three occasions, including twice in this match itself. Crawley has managed to score just 39 runs in 111 deliveries against Boland, and averages just 13.

In the very next over, rain intensified and play to be stopped once again with England reeling at 28 for 2, with a 35-run lead over the Baggy Greens. The rain continued pouring and play had to be called off for the day following multiple inspections from the umpires.

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