Australia on top despite late hits in Ashes Test 5

Warner insisted he could turn Broad around on home soil in this series, but his longtime nemesis has taken the points.

Broad dispatched Warner with only his second pair in 91 tests, all of which come from his last seven meetings with the Ashes.

In the 66 balls he faced from Broad in this series, Warner lost his wicket twice for just 25 runs, not as one-sided as in 2019 when he dropped seven times in 104 balls, but it was a win for the closer nonetheless. Warner is open for another campaign in England next year, although at the age of 36 he may not be better than a 50-50 prospect to make it this far.

Khawaja only needed two games to get through the ups and downs of Test cricket. He couldn’t get his gloves out of the way of a well-aimed bumper from Mark Wood, fired for 11 to complete two misses after two tons in his return game in Sydney. The conditions, however, were not in his favor.

Pat Cummins takes the wicket from Zak Crawley.Credit:fake images

These are only minor losses for Australia, who have a chance on Sunday to put England out of the game on a field that isn’t quite as itchy as it was on the first afternoon despite a host of wickets falling.

However, there was still enough life left for Australia’s attack to remove the numerous flaws in England’s front-row batsmen.

Even with the charity of two weak-edge non-referrals, Australia still made a mess of their opponent, who failed to reach 300 in all nine innings.

Had Warner or Khawaja latched onto Woakes’ snicks at zero-five, the door would have been slammed shut by now. Woakes has done little with the ball, but has played some fighting shots at No.8, this time scoring the highest score with 36.

Rarely will England have a better opportunity to strike a blow on these shores. Their closers got their first use of a green cover, pitched with a new pink ball under the lights in Australia’s second inning, and their batsmen enjoyed the most favorable batting conditions only to make basic errors.

Ben Stokes could be considered unlucky as Nathan Lyon brilliantly caught his striated cut shot, and Dawid Malan was choked in the side of the leg, but England weren’t helped.

For reasons known only to Rory Burns, the embattled starter opted not to dive into the crease in his return game and ran out by a matter of inches after Zak Crawley called him out for a furry single.

His lack of urgency belied the stakes for Burns in this game, earning him a reprimand from former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

Charging

England’s dysfunction at the top of the order means they are playing with one hand tied behind their back. They have failed to reach double figures in six of their nine innings. Embarrassingly, Australia’s 10th wicket association is averaging more than England’s starting position of 12.77. Australia’s starters struggled in 2019, but Smith rescued them.

Burns couldn’t even say he was a dead duck, surviving after the hosts didn’t hear a slight Mitchell Starc lead from the first change of the inning.

Ollie Pope was more composed than the player who was out of his reach in the first two games, but was fooled by an unnecessary jab from Scott Boland, who was more threatening than his 1-33 would suggest.

Cummins made the key advances for his team, taking out Joe Root and Malan in quick succession just as the pair were making inroads into Australia’s 303 total.

It will be of little consolation to Root that his lbw, to 34, snapped a streak of eight snicks behind the stumps. As captain, Root must bear the brunt of criticism for his team’s dismal summer, but he has performed admirably at bat in a series dominated by bowlers on seam-friendly lanes.

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