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Ashes score LIVE: Captain Joe Root leads England fightback against Australia on day three of 1st Test

England take on Australia in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane

Shweta Sharma
Friday 10 December 2021 13:44
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"Who knows what can happen?" Malan hopeful for England win in Ashes test

England captain Joe Root was celebrating record-breaking 2021 as he and Dawid Malan dug deep to launch a brave fightback in the first Ashes Test at The Gabba.

After two despairing days at The Gabba, and a first-innings deficit of 278, the tourists finally landed some blows of their own to reach 220 for two on the third evening.

Dismissed for a duck in England’s underwhelming 147 all out, Root showed all his class and charisma to make 86 not out while Malan knuckled down for a highly impressive 80no.

Unlike Malan, Root has never scored a century Down Under but will spend the night dreaming of putting that right at the earliest opportunity as the duo resume their 159-run partnership.

While salvaging something from this match – a draw, the unlikeliest of wins, even just a measure of pride in defeat – would have been the only thing on Root’s mind, he scooped up a significant landmark along the way.

Until now no Englishman had ever scored more Test runs in a calendar year than the 1,481 Root’s mentor Michael Vaughan reeled off in 2002. But by the close he was sitting on a total of 1,541 and, with games at Adelaide and Melbourne still to come, he may have the Mohammad Yousuf’s world record of 1,788 in his sights.

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Ashes 2021: Root and Malan drag England back

In case you missed it.

England captain Joe Root was celebrating record-breaking 2021 as he and Dawid Malan dug deep to launch a brave fightback in the first Ashes Test at The Gabba.

After two despairing days at The Gabba, and a first-innings deficit of 278, the tourists finally landed some blows of their own to reach 220 for two on the third evening.

Dismissed for a duck in England’s underwhelming 147 all out, Root showed all his class and charisma to make 86 not out while Malan knuckled down for a highly impressive 80no.

Unlike Malan, Root has never scored a century Down Under but will spend the night dreaming of putting that right at the earliest opportunity as the duo resume their 159-run partnership.

While salvaging something from this match - a draw, the unlikeliest of wins, even just a measure of pride in defeat - would have been the only thing on Root’s mind, he scooped up a significant landmark along the way.

Until now no Englishman had ever scored more Test runs in a calendar year than the 1,481 Root’s mentor Michael Vaughan reeled off in 2002. But by the close he was sitting on a total of 1,541 and, with games at Adelaide and Melbourne still to come, he may have the Mohammad Yousuf’s world record of 1,788 in his sights.

England are not out of the woods yet, of course, but after a truly dispiriting 48 hours they have finally got grounds for optimism. Fans will not need too many reminders that an even bigger rearguard was launched at the same ground 10 years ago, when Sir Andrew Strauss, Sir Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott all posted second-innings centuries to save a game that had looked to be gone.

England’s Joe Root walks off with Dawid Malan (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 12:35
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Ashes 2021: Labuschagne not rushing to praise Root

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne was not inclined to wax lyrical about Root’s prolific year, preferring to focus on putting an end to his stay as soon as possible.

“He batted really well and he’s obviously a beautiful player of spin and pace, but it’s not my job now to admire Joe Root’s innings,” he said.

“It’s my job to find holes in his game and help the team out. The Ashes are on the line and we have to keep putting pressure on him. If they keep batting well and scoring runs, we are going to need to go to plan A, B and C.”

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 12:05
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Ashes 2021: Malan enjoying batting with Root

Over the course of his classy knock Root surpassed Michael Vaughan’s record of 1,481 Test runs in a calendar year for England and, with two more matches before the end of 2022, he has plenty of time top up his total.

He would probably trade that honour for another 14 runs on the fourth morning, as he looks to claim his maiden century on Australian soil in his 10th appearance.

“Joe’s record obviously speaks for itself, with what he’s done in his career,” said Malan.

“Batting with him is great because he takes the pressure off you, always looks to score and seems to find a way of putting the pressure back on the bowlers. It’s a great sign for us as a team that Joe is playing so well and leading from the front.”

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 11:45
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Ashes 2021: Plenty more hard work ahead for England

Malan was quick to point out that there is plenty more hard work ahead if England are to turn one good session into something more meaningful.

“The job isn’t done yet, just getting an 80 doesn’t mean you’ve made it, it’s about scoring the big hundred that will change the game,” he added.

“They are so brilliant at closing that door on us. We need one more good 100-run partnership to put a score on the board and then who knows what can happen? To come in after a day and a half of hard fielding and do what we did here was fantastic, but that’s only half the job.”

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 11:25
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Ashes 2021: Malan relishing Australia trying to ‘blow his head off'

Dawid Malan helped Joe Root kickstart England’s Ashes campaign on day three in Brisbane and claimed nothing inspires him like Australian bowlers trying to “blow my head off”.

England’s latest tour got off to a demoralising start as they were rolled over for 147 on day one and then watched as Travis Head’s fine century allowed the hosts to reach 425 in response.

But a crushing lead had been thinned out to just 58 on the third evening as Malan and Root turned the tide with an unbroken stand worth 159.

Both men will be eyeing centuries when they begin the fourth morning on 220 for two, with Malan six behind his captain on 80 not out.

Malan is not in uncharted territory, having scored a fine century in Perth four years ago, but he was cut adrift after losing form and spent much of the intervening period believing his red-ball career was over.

He earned his recall in the summer through his efforts in the limited-overs game, but believes nothing compares to the intensity of a long-form battle against the old enemy.

“I actually said to Rooty when were on 40 or 50 and the Barmy Army were singing, ‘I’ve really missed this’,” he said.

“I’ve missed having someone trying to blow my head off all the time, the crowd going and the adrenaline going, playing against the best bowlers going around. Test cricket is the pinnacle.

“To be able to stand out here in an England shirt...I’m so proud to do that. Especially to do it here at The Gabba in front of everyone. It’s just really good fun.

“You can do as well as you want in Twenty20 or 50-over cricket, but you’re judged a lot by your Test career at the end of it. For us, an Ashes series is the biggest series of our calendar so to come here and get runs against this really good attack is very satisfying.”

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 10:55
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Ashes 2021: Root and Malan drag England back

England captain Joe Root was celebrating record-breaking 2021 as he and Dawid Malan dug deep to launch a brave fightback in the first Ashes Test at The Gabba.

After two despairing days at The Gabba, and a first-innings deficit of 278, the tourists finally landed some blows of their own to reach 220 for two on the third evening.

Dismissed for a duck in England’s underwhelming 147 all out, Root showed all his class and charisma to make 86 not out while Malan knuckled down for a highly impressive 80no.

Unlike Malan, Root has never scored a century Down Under but will spend the night dreaming of putting that right at the earliest opportunity as the duo resume their 159-run partnership.

While salvaging something from this match - a draw, the unlikeliest of wins, even just a measure of pride in defeat - would have been the only thing on Root’s mind, he scooped up a significant landmark along the way.

Until now no Englishman had ever scored more Test runs in a calendar year than the 1,481 Root’s mentor Michael Vaughan reeled off in 2002. But by the close he was sitting on a total of 1,541 and, with games at Adelaide and Melbourne still to come, he may have the Mohammad Yousuf’s world record of 1,788 in his sights.

England are not out of the woods yet, of course, but after a truly dispiriting 48 hours they have finally got grounds for optimism. Fans will not need too many reminders that an even bigger rearguard was launched at the same ground 10 years ago, when Sir Andrew Strauss, Sir Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott all posted second-innings centuries to save a game that had looked to be gone.

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 10:30
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Ashes 2021: Labuschagne not surprised by England fightback

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne is not surprised by England’s stirring fightback in the opening Ashes test in Brisbane but expects his bowling team mates to wreak havoc with the new ball when play resumes on Saturday.

“It’s test cricket, you never expect any test nation, especially when you’re playing England in the Ashes, to come in and roll over and you’re going to knock them over,” said Labuschagne, who contributed 74 to Australia’s first innings total of 425.

“Test cricket is a grind, it’s meant to be hard, otherwise it wouldn’t mean so much to both countries.

“So for us, it’s just a day at the office and we make sure we come back tomorrow, review our plans how we bowled today, and come up with some ideas and get those last eight wickets.”

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 10:01
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Ashes 2021: Australia point to importance of new ball

Australia batter Travis Head said: “The key tomorrow is getting a wicket in the first 10 overs and then getting the new ball.

“Two high-quality players (Root and Malan), we’ve created some opportunities, but no surprise in how they came out and applied themselves.

“We hold a great advantage, 60 runs and the new ball around the corner. The new ball tomorrow is going to be massive.”

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 09:47
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Ashes 2021: McGrath impressed with England batting

 Ex-Australia quick Glenn McGrath added: “The way Malan and Root batted, they looked comfortable.

“They handled the full and the short and are in a good position.

“They are right in control of this match at the moment, and I think the pitch will get even better to bat on tomorrow.”

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 09:35
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Ashes 2021: Cook buoyed by England fightback

Ex-England captain Sir Alastair Cook was buoyed by the day’s play, telling BT Sport: “It’s a day England and the tour needed after the first two days.

“After that it was all doom and gloom, (people saying) this side aren’t very good. On day one Rooty said this side had character and they do. The character of Root and Malan was fantastic and momentum is just slowly shifting towards us.”

Ashes-winning bowler Steve Harmison added: “That’s why we love Test cricket. Today was a carbon copy of yesterday, the wicker has got better and easier to bat on. If England have a good session tomorrow morning, there’ll be some squeaky bums in the Australia dressing room.”

England closed the day on 220 for two, 58 runs behind.

Ben Burrows10 December 2021 09:23

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