Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Cricket
  2. The Ashes

England v Australia: Third Test review: England maintain Ashes hopes

England survived a nerve-shredding fourth day to record a three-wicket win in the third Ashes Test, chasing down 251 to register their first victory of the series on a dramatic Sunday afternoon at Headingley.

Both sides will have 10 days to regroup for the next instalment of what has been a scintillating summer of cricket so far, with the action at Old Trafford set to get underway on Wednesday 19th July.

There is little to choose between the old foes in terms of the betting, with Ben Stokes' men marginal 5/4 favourites To Win the Match, with the tourists priced at 11/8 while the draw is on offer at 4/1.

Holding a 2-1 advantage with just two games left, it is no surprise that Australia are 2/5 favourites to ultimately secure their first series win in England since 2001, while the hosts are 4/1 to become only the second side ever to successfully overturn a 2-0 Ashes deficit, with the draw priced at 11/2.

Rollercoaster finally goes England's way

There has been more ebb and flow in this series already than perhaps anyone can remember, and not just overall but within each of the three Tests individually - so much so that either side could easily have been 3-0 up if key moments had panned out differently.

England perhaps should have won the opening Test at Edgbaston before they failed to take their chance at Lord's in the second, and the fact that they lost both those matches ramped up the pressure on them going to Headingley.

However, they responded superbly with new heroes stepping up when it mattered, even if they gave the supporters plenty of moments of alarm.

That includes the fourth day in Leeds. Stokes' men had set themselves up beautifully with a brilliant bowling display on Saturday evening, before negotiating a tricky five-over spell with all 10 wickets in tact, to go into Sunday's action as the 3/10 favourites.

However, this England side don't like to make it easy for the fans and as we have also come to expect in this series, the underdogs will come fighting back.

There were precious few alarms for England as they made their way to 42-0, but the Australians were not going to roll over. Led by the brilliant Mitchell Starc, the Baggy Greens started to chip away, and ramp up the tension on the terraces.

Ben Duckett was trapped LBW for 23, to be quickly followed back to the pavilion by Moeen Ali (5), who had been promoted to number three - both falling to left-arm paceman Starc.

Zak Crawley (44) fell to Mitchell Marsh for the second time in the match, before Australia thought they had got the vital breakthrough when Pat Cummins had Joe Root (21) caught down the leg side shortly before lunch.

There were no Headingley heroics this time from Stokes, who was also caught down the leg-side for 13 off Starc shortly after the interval, and when Jonny Bairstow's wild drive saw him bowled, the Aussies were sensing the win with England at 171-6, and still needing 80 more runs - both sides priced at 10/11 at this point.

However, Harry Brook, batting back in his more favoured number five role on his home ground, took control and in partnership with Chris Woakes, the pair pushed England towards the finishing line.

Brook made a superb 75 and shared a crucial 59-run partnership with Woakes before he top-edged Starc to Cummins, who did brilliantly to make the catch despite colliding with the bowler.

At 230-7, England only needed 21 more runs but the door had been opened and the tension was palpable. Mark Wood didn't show it though as he free-wheeled his way to 16 off just eight balls, before Woakes cracked the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 32.

Both players - recalled for this third Test - had finished among the wickets as well, with the Warwickshire all-rounder taking three wickets in each innings, while Wood ripped through Australia's first innings with 5-34, before taking another couple of wickets in the second - enough to win the Player of the Match award.

Aussies may feel hard done by

Australia could argue that things had not gone their way particularly in the first two Tests, having lost the toss in both and seemingly batting in the more bowler-friendly conditions.

However, winning both would no doubt have been a boost to their confidence, going into the third Test, with Headingley offering a generally better pitch for the bowlers than Edgbaston and Lord's had done.

Again though, they lost the toss and were put into bat with clouds around, before having to dig themselves out of a hole at 85-4 in their first innings.

Cummins' men looked to be in a decent position after the first two days of play, but when the rain finally relented on Saturday, the batters were going out under dark skies with the floodlights on and the ball swinging prodigiously.

It could be argued they still could have played better with Marsh and Alex Carey both out trying to leave the ball, but England didn't have to face such conditions.

Given what Australia were able to do on Sunday, albeit in a losing cause, had the shoe been on the other foot, the result may have been different.

Still, it has teed things up nicely going into the final two Tests, although Australia can end their wait for a series win on these shores if they are able to avoid defeat in either of them.

Hosts to stay on the offensive

Having won at Headingley and with Ollie Pope ruled out for the rest of the series, it seems likely that England will keep faith with the same make-up of the side at least, although neither Moeen or Brook stamped their mark on the number three role.

Still, Woakes contributed with both bat and ball as an all-rounder while Wood's contribution was obvious. Ongoing doubts about Stokes' ability to bowl would suggest that four seamers will still be employed by England, with James Anderson hoping for a recall on his home ground.

England's greatest Test wicket-taker could well come back at the expense of Ollie Robinson, who went wicketless in Australia's first innings, suffered a back spasm and didn't bowl in the second.

Regardless of the chosen XI, Stokes himself maintained the bullish belief that he thinks England can win the last two Tests to seal a remarkable turnaround.

There are perhaps more questions for the tourists to answer, with Nathan Lyon's absence looking particularly damaging.

Not only can he tie up an end if Australia are looking to stop the opposition scoring, but he is a key wicket-taker to boot.

Todd Murphy took 1-36 in England's first innings and bowled only two overs in the hosts' run chase, although Scott Boland also failed to shine on his return to the side and could make way for Josh Hazlewood.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.