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England collapse again as Australia turn screw in 2nd Test

Australia have England on the ropes in the second Ashes Test

England were staring down the barrel of another sorry defeat on Saturday, dismissed for 236 then forced to watch as Australia batted again and stretched their lead in the day-night second Ashes Test in Adelaide. 

Joe Root and Dawid Malan had survived the opening session of day three unscathed, building a 128-run stand as they chased Australia’s imposing first-innings 473 for nine declared.

Making matters worse, they did so against a second-string attack with Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood both missing.

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They negotiated some 75 minutes for the loss of David Warner for 13, needlessly run out after a disastrous mix-up with Marcus Harris, who remains unbeaten on 21.

Hostile pace from Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon’s dangerous spin did the damage to England, complemented by Cameron Green, who bagged Root for the second consecutive time.

“It’s pretty frustrating and disappointing — to lose two wickets like we did on Friday night, then get ourselves back into a position where we could get within touching distance of them,” said Malan.

– Australia ‘hold the cards’ –

Australia bowled repeat maidens at the start of the second session and Root looked increasingly uncomfortable against Green, who was starting to find movement with the pink ball.

Malan soon followed, slashing at a Starc thunderbolt that took a nick, again into Smith’s safe hands. Malan has now scored nine Test 50s but only converted one into a century.

“He’s a serious talent for a young kid, he’s a great addition to our bowling attack, he was extremely good in that session after the break.”

Like in Brisbane, England’s batting folded. Ollie Pope survived a bat-pad review but only lasted two more balls, charging down the wicket to Lyon and edging to Marnus Labuschagne at short leg on five.

It didn’t take long for Australia to clean up the rest with Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson also undone by Lyon, and when Ben Stokes was bowled by Green for 34, it was all but over.

England had resumed at 17 for two after losing openers Rory Burns (four) and Haseeb Hameed (six) to a fiery 40-minute spell from Starc, Neser and Jhye Richardson under lights on Friday evening.

They had perfect early batting conditions on a flat Adelaide pitch and Root settled, slamming a well-timed drive for four to boost his confidence.

Malan completed his 50 with a single off Neser, while Root hit Richardson to the boundary to reach his 52nd half-century.

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