TOP News

Sport: Joe Root and Dawid Malan lead the fight as England hit back in Brisbane

Ashes LIVE: Updates, scores, highlights - Day one of the first Test between Australia and England at the Gabba

  Ashes LIVE: Updates, scores, highlights - Day one of the first Test between Australia and England at the Gabba Ashes LIVE: Updates, scores, highlights - Day one of the first Test between Australia and England at the GabbaAustralia are raging favourites to win the first Test and retain the Ashes urn, but England will be battling to win back one of cricket's greatest honours.

England captain Joe Root was celebrating record-breaking 2021 as he and Dawid Malan dug deep to launch a brave fightback in the first Ashes Test at The Gabba.

Australia v England – 2021/22 Ashes Series – First Test – Day Three – The Gabba © PA Images Australia v England – 2021/22 Ashes Series – First Test – Day Three – The Gabba

After two despairing days at The Gabba, and a first-innings deficit of 278, the tourists finally landed some blows of their own to reach 220 for two on the third evening.

Dismissed for a duck in England’s underwhelming 147 all out, Root showed all his class and charisma to make 86 not out while Malan knuckled down for a highly impressive 80no.

Unlike Malan, Root has never scored a century Down Under but will spend the night dreaming of putting that right at the earliest opportunity as the duo resume their 159-run partnership.

While salvaging something from this match – a draw, the unlikeliest of wins, even just a measure of pride in defeat – would have been the only thing on Root’s mind, he scooped up a significant landmark along the way.

Record-breaking Joe Root lifts England

Until now no Englishman had ever scored more Test runs in a calendar year than the 1,481 Root’s mentor Michael Vaughan reeled off in 2002. But by the close he was sitting on a total of 1,541 and, with games at Adelaide and Melbourne still to come, he may have the Mohammad Yousuf’s world record of 1,788 in his sights.

The 'humiliating morning' that crushed England

  The 'humiliating morning' that crushed England Australia have charged to victory on the fourth day of the opening Ashes Test, thrashing England by nine wickets.Veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon broke through for his long-awaited 400th Test scalp early in the first session, removing first drop Dawid Malan via a Marnus Labuschagne catch at silly point.

England are not out of the woods yet, of course, but after a truly dispiriting 48 hours they have finally got grounds for optimism. Fans will not need too many reminders that an even bigger rearguard was launched at the same ground 10 years ago, when Sir Andrew Strauss, Sir Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott all posted second-innings centuries to save a game that had looked to be gone.

The morning belonged to Australia, who resumed on 343 for seven and proceeded to add another 82 runs against a visibly weary attack. Travis Head, 112 not out overnight, had plenty more fun as he topped up his score with another 40, including a swaggering straight six off Ben Stokes’ second ball.

He was last man out when Mark Wood smashed the base of his stumps to leave Australia 425 all out.

Attention turned quickly to Rory Burns, who created an unwanted Ashes ‘moment’ when he lost his leg stump to the first ball of the series. He showed nerves by declining to take the strike – for just the third time in 55 Test innings – but almost bagged his second duck of the game anyway.

Root takes blames for Gabba drubbing but says selections and toss decision were right

  Root takes blames for Gabba drubbing but says selections and toss decision were right Joe Root blamed himself for England’s day-four collapse but refused to concede he’d made an error at the toss or in team selection after the nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of Australia in the First Ashes Test at the Gabba. And the skipper would not say whether record-breaking pace duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad would be recalled for next Thursday’s clash at the Adelaide Oval or that spinner Jack Leach would be dropped even though he was treated with disdain by the Australian batters.

Shuffling across his stumps to his third delivery from tormentor Mitchell Starc, he was given lbw. Mercifully, DRS showed the ball sneaking over the top. He never looked secure, though, and had no answer other than a brush of the glove when Pat Cummins got to spit nastily.

It was 61 for two when Hameed flicked Starc off his hip and Malan could have been another early casualty when he left one from Nathan Lyon that zipped on and missed the bails by little more than a coat of varnish.

Root also had an early jitter, stooping to sweep the spinner and almost feeding the short-leg catcher. The counter-attack was about to begin, though, With Root unpacking his repertoire of scoring options against seam and spin alike.

Malan was less fluent but showed an iron determination to stick around and kicked into gear with a couple of flowing strokes off Lyon. At tea they were up to 107 for two, with Root dead even with Vaughan.

He moved past him with his first scoring shot but was only getting started. He bent his knee as he punched Starc through the covers, lent on an effortless straight drive and brought up an 80-ball half-century with a powerful sweep. Malan followed him to fifty as his resolute approach continued paying dividends and he indulged a rare flourish when he pounded Cummins joyously though extra-cover.

The Liebke report card: 'Only two flaws in Head's innings (three if you count the moustache)'

  The Liebke report card: 'Only two flaws in Head's innings (three if you count the moustache)' It’s time for the Ashes again, with Australia hosting England at the Gabba for the first Test, and these are the other ratings for the series opener. Going into the match, all eyes were on new Australian Test captain Pat Cummins. Nothing unusual about that, of course. He’s a very handsome man to rest one’s gaze upon. England’s Collapse. Grade: A- Classical Test openers thrive via the sound defensive shot and judicious leave. In cricket parlance, they ‘know where their off stump is’. Rory Burns is an opening batter who knows where his off stump is.

Root had his courage challenged as well as his technique, falling to his knees after wearing a lifter on the glove and then popping painkillers for a blow to the knee.

For the first time in the match Australia were searching in vain for answers. A stand of 100 eased past 150 without any real dramas, Starc expensive and Lyon still searching for his first wicket of the game.

As they walked off to roars of approval from the expat Barmy Army, Root and Malan had blunted their opponents for 49 overs with 10 boundaries apiece and renewed hope for their side.

Share on Facebook Share Share on TwitterTweet Send email Mail

Root praised for bravery; England set to go two down? .
England's hopes of salvaging a result from the second Ashes Test are all-but over after Joe Root's late dismissal, according to former captain Michael Atherton. Root was dismissed with the final ball of the day to leave the tourists on 82-4 at stumps in Adelaide, having been set 468 to win by Steven Smith's side, leaving Australia requiring just six wickets on the final day to go 2-0 up in the five-Test series.

See also