He looks in good form today and Ben Stokes has now reached his 43rd Test of fifty, heading out into the deep hide. England doesn’t mess around when they find a way to run across the board.
Harry Brook was in on the fun, hitting back-to-back lines through the boxes first, two balls later, creating a beautiful shot to take the lead in third. Three beautiful shots, three beautiful shots.
Ben Stokes dribbled beautifully but luckily wasn’t here – after receiving a Michael Neser throw-in on a set-piece. Effort for two, he was close to the ground but Alex Carey couldn’t get the ball clean and he ended up hitting the stump with his glove.
Steve James wrote: Should Ben Stokes Expire? It’s a very difficult decision to assess with certainty – but no decision has been made out of the blue because there has been no appeal and therefore no reconsideration. Alex Carey should have taken the ball and sent Stokes out, but he dropped it and the ball rolled into a tree – would the ball bounce off before his gloves did? I’m not sure it did…
Shall we participate in the Bazball fireworks again? Josh Hazlewood gets us started with the first part. Ben Stokes blocked the first ball, but then attacked on the second with a big swipe and missed. Fasten seat belt…
Steve James wrote: We can be in for some fun this morning. I don’t think England should spend too much time hitting the ball given the terrible weather forecast over the weekend, especially tomorrow. They needed to be successful in taking Australian shots in that second half, so a quick hour or so to get as much as possible with the club would be my pick…
‘We don’t want to fight anymore’
Simon Wilde wrote: We have 45 minutes to start and the players are training. Zak Crawley outlined England’s thoughts on the day as he spoke after his stellar 189 run late on Monday.
“We have two very good players and Jonny [Bairstow] still to come, plus a powerful tail, [so] the game plan would be to hit well tomorrow and hit once,” he said. “Maybe if we lost a few early goals that would change but we want to take the lead and beat them and not have to fight back. That would be ideal and we don’t expect it. Now it is a good racket to hit the ball.
Bettors are starting to sign up — let’s hope we don’t see much of this in the next few days!
There was a bit of drizzle this morning but the visors are off and we have no news of a delayed start. We’ll bring you any updates as we get them.
Hello and welcome to day three of the Wednesday Ash Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford.
Yesterday provided much more engaging entertainment in this great series. Continuing on day 299 to eight, Australia lost all 317 after James Anderson knocked Pat Cummins with the first ball of the day and Chris Woakes received the Ashes first five.
Britain traveled at a steady pace until noon, before going ballistic. Moeen Ali proved he could serve in 3rd by hitting 54 and then Zak Crawley hit 189 out of 182 balls, scoring the fastest Test 150 on the ground (with 152 balls). He’s had a bit of luck but with the passing of his maiden Ashes, this movie is pretty epic.
Crawley and Joe Root, who made a quick 84 hit, put 206 on the third racket in 29.4 rounds. In the second session, the duo and Ali added 178 at a rate of 7.12 runs per set. It’s Bazball in excelsis.
Crawley and Root both departed after tea, with Harry Brook (14 not out) and Ben Stokes (24 not out) seeing England end. They lead with a score of 67 and have six goals in hand.
Crawley only needed 93 balls to reach his first century of Ashes
REUTERS / ANDREW BOYERS
Meanwhile, Australia had a rough time yesterday. Pat Cummins’ team looked rudderless on the field and Mitchell Starc’s shoulder injury made a bad day even worse. The World Test champions will need all of their mettle to recover, though they only need a draw to keep the pot.
It’s a fair bit to play, then…