Ashes 2021-22: Brilliant Bairstow century leads England recovery

Bairstow
(103)
scored
his
seventh
Test
century,
and
his
first
since
2018,
to
stave
Australia
off
after
the
hosts
had
reduced
England
to
36-4
in
the
morning
session.

Ben
Stokes,
who
battled
on
with
a
side
strain,
and
Bairstow

who
was
hit
on
the
thumb
by
a
blistering
Pat
Cummins
delivery

combined
for
a
superb
partnership
of
128
to
steady
the
ship
for
the
tourists,
who
reached
stumps
on
258-7,
trailing
by
158
runs.

1

51146

The
start
was
delayed
by
rain
on
Friday,
but
having
finished
day
two
on
13-0,
Joe
Root’s
side
were
soon
wishing
for
the
weather
to
close
in
again.

Haseeb
Hameed
was
dropped
by
Alex
Carey
in
the
third
over,
but
England’s
opener
was
gone
soon
after,
Mitchell
Starc
bowling
him
for
only
six.

England
then
lost
Zak
Crawley
(18),
Root
(0)
and
Dawid
Malan
(3)
without
scoring
a
single
run.

Cummins
missed
a
caught-and-bowled
chance
to
dismiss
Stokes
on
nine,
and
the
all-rounder
subsequently
survived
a
bizarre
incident
when
Cameron
Green
hit
the
stumps
but
the
bails
did
not
fall
off.
Stokes
was
given
out
leg
before
wicket,
but
an
instant
review
saved
him.

Stokes
went
on
to
make
66
before
he
misjudged
a
delivery
from
Nathan
Lyon
and
was
trapped
lbw,
with
Bairstow
then
getting
clattered
on
the
hand
by
Cummins
off
the
next
ball.

Jos
Buttler
went
for
a
duck
and
another
batting
collapse
seemed
on
the
cards,
but
Bairstow
and
Mark
Wood
(39)
took
the
game
back
to
Australia,
the
paceman
hitting
three
sixes
in
an
entertaining
knock,
which
came
to
an
end
when
he
gloved
Cummins
onto
his
helmet
and
into
the
hands
of
Lyon.

Bairstow
continued
to
defy
Australia
and
cut
Cummins
for
four
to
reach
three
figures
in
the
final
over
of
the
day.


Bairstow
back
with
a
bang

Having
not
been
selected
in
the
opening
two
Tests,
Bairstow
produced
a
stunning
century
in
the
circumstances

the
first
scored
by
an
England
player
in
a
miserable
series
for
the
tourists.

Given
Buttler’s
lack
of
form,
Bairstow
could
find
himself
donning
the
gloves
again
in
the
fifith
Test.
England
will
be
hoping
the
Yorkshireman
can
frustrate
Australia
further
on
Saturday
and
the
weather
could
also
thwart
Cummins’ side
in
their
pursuit
of
a
whitewash.

Bairstow
and
Stokes’
partnership
was
only
the
second
time
a
visiting
duo
have
added
100
plus
runs
for
the
fifth
wicket
in
Australia
after
their
team
were
four
down
for
fewer
than
50.


Boland,
Stokes
suffer

Scott
Boland
(2-25)
was
the
pick
of
Australia’s
bowlers,
but
the
32-year-old

who
made
a
dream
debut
in
Melbourne

was
forced
off
with
a
side
injury.

The
quick
went
for
a
scan
and
was
cleared
to
bowl
in
the
nets
and
subsequently
return
for
the
evening
session,
so
Australia
will
be
hoping
he
is
fit
to
fire
on
day
four.

Stokes,
meanwhile,
may
not
be
so
lucky,
as
he
was
grimacing
throughout
his
battling
innings.

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