Ashes, 2nd Test: Root and Malan lead England's strong reply against Australia

by IANS |

Adelaide, Dec 18 (IANS) Joe Root and Dawid Malan led England's strong reply against Australia on day three of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. At dinner break, England were 140/2 in 41 overs and trail Australia by 333 runs with Root (batting 57) and Malan (batting 68) at the crease.

Resuming from 17/2, Malan and Root looked comfortable in the first hour of the session and didn't allow Australia's bowlers to get settled. Malan, more aggressive of the two, started off with an inside edge off Jhye Richardson that went past his stumps for four.

He was brutal on Mitchell Starc, cutting his first two balls of the day for fours over point and slip cordon. Nathan Lyon got some turn and troubled the duo but was unable to dislodge either of Root or Malan.

Malan brought up his ninth Test half-century with a pull to backward square leg for a single against Michael Neser. Root and Malan then brought up their second 100-run partnership for the third wicket in the Ashes. It is the eleventh century stand for England in Test cricket this year, nine of which have involved Root.

The England captain then reached his 52nd Test half-century with a glanced four through fine leg. Through the course of his innings, Root (1601 runs) also became only the second captain after Graeme Smith (1656 runs) in 2008 to score 1600-plus runs in Tests and currently sits at fourth position of most Test runs in a calender year.

Though England have a long way to go in making a comeback in the matches, they will be satisfied with the efforts of Root and Malan accumulating 123 runs for the loss of no wickets in the first session.

Brief Scores: Australia 473/9 decl (Marnus Labuschagne 103; Ben Stokes 3/113) vs England 140/2 in 41 overs (Dawid Malan 68 not out, Joe Root 57 not out; Mitchell Starc 1/24, Michael Neser 1/29).

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