Ashes 2023 | Twitter reacts as England dazzle on Day 3 to set up thrilling series climax

Ashes 2023 | Twitter reacts as England dazzle on Day 3 to set up thrilling series climax

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Joe Root was the standout batter for England as he narrowly missed out on a century

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ESPN Cricinfo/ Getty

England provided another fascinating display of fast-paced batting in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval as they danced their way to 389 with a wicket still to spare heading into the penultimate day. Zak Crawley, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow all registered fifties while Mitchell Starc scalped four.

Zak Crawley kickstarted the day with an ominous booming cover drive on the very first ball and two more boundaries in the over not only saw Australia's first innings lead of 12 evaporate into thin air but also set the tone for the remainder of Day 3. The two openers struck boundaries almost at will and the team score raced past 50 in no time. Mitchell Starc finally broke the opening stand for 79 as an out-swinging beauty saw Duckett get a faint edge, beckoning him to depart for a 55-ball 42. Ben Stokes promoted himself up the order with Moeen Ali only allowed to bat after Lunch owing to his two-day absence from the field due to an injury and while the skipper took time to settle in, Crawley registered his third half-century of the series. The duo saw England through to Lunch at a formidable 130/1, tallying the runs in just 25 overs.

The second-wicket partnership grew to 61 after the break before Pat Cummins finally helped Australia see the back of Crawley for a nearly run-a-ball 73. Joe Root picked up exactly from where the opener had left as he dealt in boundaries and built a rapid 72-run partnership with his skipper. The batter maintained his tempo even as Stokes (42) and Harry Brook (7) fell in quick succession at the other end, getting to his 50 in just 42 balls. Fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow seemed to join him in batting with purpose and took over the partnership as soon as he walked in, the two eventually getting to Tea unbeaten with the score reading 265/4.

Root and Bairstow continued to bat with utter dominance after the break, registering the first-century stand of the innings before the former fell just nine runs short of a century to leave England in a strong position of 332/5. His partner-in-crime could not get to three figures either, as he succumbed to Starc for 78. Thereon, England crumbled from 360/6 to 378/9 but James Anderson and Stuart Broad ensured England still had life left in them as the former struck two handsome boundaries off Todd Murphy to help England end the day with a lead of 377. Broad, meanwhile, announced an end to his illustrious 17-year career after the play's end and is set for one final hurrah come Sunday.

Shot of the Ashes

The Dawg

Nope

Hang it

Another one

Still in the chase

Unreal

Clueless

True

Great day

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