England respond at Headingley, keep Ashes hopes alive
July 10, 2023
England have willed their way to a three-wicket win at Headingley with Chris Woakes and Mark Wood the men at crease as the hosts reached their fourth innings target of 251 to prevent an Australian series win and keep their hopes alive.
England ended the third day at 0-for-27 requiring a further 224 runs for victory and came out on top through several tense periods.
Woakes came to the crease at 6-for-171 and put together an unbeaten 32 with Mark Wood smacking 16 off just eight balls to send the Leeds faithful into delirium.
Wood was awarded Player of the Match for his first innings five-for and 40 runs over the two innings from a combined 16 balls.
The loss of Ollie Pope to a series-ending shoulder injury forced England into a reshuffle with Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood coming into the side and Jimmy Anderson and Josh Tongue missing out.
For Australia, Nathan Lyon and Cameron Green were ruled out and replaced by Todd Murphy and Mitchell Marsh whilst Josh Hazlewood made way for Scott Boland.
England again won the toss and sent Australia in to bat and were vindicated early with David Warner lasting just five balls before again falling to Stuart Broad.
Australia were looking shaky at 4-for-85 before a 155-stand courtesy of Marsh and Travis Head got them back on the front foot.
Marsh put together arguably the best innings of his Test career belting a run-a-ball 118.
Despite Marsh’s heroics, Australia lost their final six wickets for just 23 runs and slumped to a subpar total of 263.
Wood took 5-for-34 whilst Woakes snagged three dismissals of his own and Broad two.
Pat Cummins’ ripped through England’s top order with the hosts sitting at 5-for-87 before an 11-boundary 80 courtesy of Ben Stokes ballooned their total up to 237.
Cummins took 6-for-91 with Starc grabbing two of his own and Marsh and Murphy also taking one each.
Australia’s second innings was similarly shaky; Usman Khawaja (43) and Marnus Labuschagne (33) threatened to get comfortable before falling cheaply whilst Warner (1) and Steve Smith (2) both struggled.
Marsh (28) was unable to replicate his first innings explosion, however, Head (77) did what he could to improve the visitors’ lead to 250.
Broad and Woakes each took three wickets whilst Ali and Wood managed a pair each.
Australia were unable to properly wrestle the momentum off England as they dug ever closer into the visitors’ lead.
Zak Crawley (44) lost his wicket as he began looking dangerous but it was Harry Brook (75) who laid the platform for Woakes’ match-deciding and potential series-turning innings.
Starc took five of Australia’s seven wickets but it proved in vain with the English earning a crucial victory.
The scene of the series shifts to Old Trafford next Wednesday (8:00pm AEST) for a pivotal fourth Test.