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England on top as wickets fall in Brisbane

82   //    25 Nov 2017, 07:40 IST
England celebrate another wicket against Australia in Brisbane

England flexed their muscles in a dominant morning session on day three of the first Ashes Test as captain Steve Smith was left anchoring Australia's faltering batting line-up.

Shock inclusion Shaun Marsh celebrated his eighth Test half-century but Saturday's early play belonged to England, who claimed three wickets as Australia finished on 213-7 at lunch.

Marsh (51), Tim Paine (13) and Mitchell Starc (6) fell victim to star England pace duo Stuard Broad and James Anderson, with Australia were left 89 runs adrift.

Smith (81 not out) and Marsh led Australia's revival on Friday and the pair returned to the crease with the hosts 165-4 at the Gabba.

England set their sights on skipper Smith, who provided a calming and steadying influence on day two, having helped rescue the Aussies from 76-4.

With the pitch quickening up, it was a short-ball barrage from England as Joe Root set about ruffling Smith, while the touring captain pushed most of his field out to the boundary to starve the Australian star.

While England targeted Smith, Marsh – whose selection raised eyebrows in the lead-up – made a timely 50 amid Glenn Maxwell's stunning 278-run knock for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield.

He was unable to push on as the resistance of Marsh and Smith finally broke, when Broad (3-31) enticed the drive and the former took the bait, hitting a shot straight to Anderson.


Playing his first Test since 2010, wicketkeeper Paine did little to silence his doubters, succumbing to Anderson (2-35) within four deliveries of the new ball following a nipping out-swinger.

That brought Starc to the middle and the tail looked set to wag when he smashed Broad for six but the Englishman had the last laugh two balls later with a stunning caught-and-bowled effort.

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