Crawley goes big to put England in control of fourth Test
July 21, 2023
A big Zak Crawley ton has put England in the driver’s seat heading into Day 3 of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.
England again won the toss and sent the visitors in to ball.
Cameron Green came back into the side for Australia with Todd Murphy left out as the side entered a Test match without a first-choice spinner for the first time in over a decade.
Australia slumped to a subpar first innings total of 317 with Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head and Cameron Green all getting off to strong starts before being dismissed just shy or just after their half-centuries.
Chris Woakes took 5-for-62 whilst Stuart Broad became just the second fast bowler ever to reach 600 Test wickets joining teammate Jimmy Anderson.
England enjoyed a less than ideal start to their innings with Ben Duckett dismissed by Mitchell Starc for just one but the tide quickly turned in their favour.
Crawley and Moeen Ali put on a 121-run stand before Starc found the Ali breakthrough only to bring Joe Root to the crease.
Crawley surpassed the triple figures mark for the first time in the series whilst Root motored alongside him as their partnership reached 200.
Josh Hazlewood knocked Root over for 84 to stop the bleeding temporarily before Cameron Green bowled Crawley for 189 off 182 balls to end a phenomenal innings.
Harry Brook and Ben Stokes saw out the day’s play as the hosts finished a commanding 4-for-384 and a 67-run lead.
England are now in a prime position to take full control of this Test match and set up a winner-take-all fifth Test at The Oval.