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Lyon and Smith combine to leave England in a spin

Nathan Lyon starred and Josh Hazlewood claimed the prized scalp of Joe Root before lunch on the penultimate day of the first Ashes Test.

NEWS
26 Nov 2017, 07:48 IST
130
NathanLyon-cropped
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon

Australia piled the pressure on England as Nathan Lyon claimed two early wickets and Joe Root departed to leave the Ashes holders reeling at lunch on day four of the first Test in Brisbane.

It was the Lyon and Steve Smith show at the Gabba, the pair combining to dismiss Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan during Sunday's morning session, while Josh Hazlewood claimed the prized scalp of Root.

Lyon (2-36) – who celebrated taking 50 wickets in a calendar year for the first time – left England in a spin, drawing an edge from Stoneman (27) as Smith took a good catch at slip, and the duo came together again to send Malan (4) back to the pavilion.

Key to England's fading hopes of a result, Root (51) posted his 33rd Test fifty but Hazlewood (3-38) made the huge breakthrough, trapping the England captain lbw the delivery after he posted a half-century as England went into the first break 119-5, a lead of only 93 runs.

Australia's bowling attack was full of energy and tenacity after Smith's gritty century sparked the hosts into life on Saturday, Root and Stoneman on the back foot as Mitchell Starc (0-33) and Hazlewood steamed in.

Root – cleared of concussion on Sunday after copping a nasty blow to the helmet a day earlier – felt the full force of Australia's intent but he and Stoneman impressed early against a subdued Aussie frontline, reaching 50-2.

That was until Lyon was introduced into the attack, the spinner drawing an edge from Stoneman after 50 minutes of play – Smith showing his catching skills.

While there was a nervy moment for Root off the bowling of Pat Cummins (0-12), Lyon left the English in a daze again after Malan nicked a ball to Smith in an almost identical dismissal to Stoneman.

Root remained at the crease as England slumped to 74-4 and he provided some brief relief, recording his half-century before being trapped plumb in front just before lunch.

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