After surrendering the first two Tests quite meekly, visitors England have made an impressive comeback in the 2nd Test and are slightly ahead with the end of the 2nd day’s play, but Australia held on thanks to Mitchell Starc and Steve Smith. Courtesy sensational centuries by Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow England posted a total of 403 runs. While Malan was dismissed on 140, Bairstow scored a fine 119.
England was looking set for a huge total but a dramatic collapse saw them losing their last 6 wickets for a mere 35 runs. Speedster Mitchell Starc bagged was the wrecker-in-chief as far the hosts were concerned as finished with impressive figures of 4/91. In the process, he also became the most successful left-arm bowler in the first 39 Tests.
Mitchell Starc at the end of 39 Tests has 166 victims under his belt and is followed by Mitchell Johnson with 165 wickets at the end of 39 matches. Team India spin ace Ravindra Jadeja is 3rd in the list with 163 scalps in 35 Tests. Former England left-arm spinner Alan Davidson occupies the 4th position with 160 wickets under his belt while Derek Underwood bagged 149 wickets in his first 39 Tests.
Meanwhile, it was exceptional batting display by Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow in the opening day of the 3rd Test at the WACA in Perth. It was a sensational partnership of 237 runs for the 5the wicket between Malan and Bairstow which ensured the visitors were looking set for a big total. The southpaw, in particular, played some delightful shots square of the wicket and became the first English batsman to score a century in the ongoing series.
Bairstow supported him brilliantly and struck some gorgeous shots in the process. However, the Aussie bowlers came back strongly and bowled them out for 403 despite their score being 368/4 at one stage. Meanwhile, the Aussie skipper is approaching his 22nd Test hundred and is 8 short of his ton when stumps were taken on Day 2.
The hosts lost David Warner and Cameron Bancroft pretty cheaply but captain Steve Smith ensured he build a solid partnership with Usman Khawaja to take Australia to safety. When stumps were taken Australia had reached 203 with the loss of 3 wickets.
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) December 15, 2017