Coming into the third day of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, England were very well placed. They were 267/4 and were on course to take a sizeable lead. However, just like they did with the ball, they conceded the advantage and Australia capitalized.
Overnight batsmen Rory Burns and Ben Stokes started the day steadily. The latter notched up his 18th Test half-century. However, he was the first wicket to fall in the day as Pat Cummins got the breakthrough for the Aussies. Rory Burns soon followed as Nathan Lyon got one to rip and found the edge.
The 31-year-old off-spinner has been getting a consistent turn in this Test match. He got a few to turn big on the second day. With the pitch deteriorating further, he was getting constant assistance from the pitch. Thus, he was always going to be a threat. Thus, he removed Burns after his wonderful ton.
Moeen Ali walked out to bat at No. 8. His form with the bat hasn’t been great in the recent past. Before this Test started, his average in the longest format in 2019 was 12.29. He wasn’t in the best of forms in white-ball cricket either. Moreover, his nemesis Nathan Lyon was bowling really well. Thus, he faced a stiff challenge.
Lyon dismantles England’s middle-order
Lyon got rid of Burns on the first delivery of the 105th over of the innings. He had five balls at Ali. The first one was a full delivery down the leg and Ali tickled it away for a boundary. The next three deliveries were quicker and in and around the stumps. The 32-year-old England all-rounder defended all of them. The ball was certainly taking a considerable turn.
Thus, on the last ball, Lyon slowed it up a touch and Ali left it alone. But to the latter’s shock, the ball never turned and knocked over his off-stump. The turn played on Ali’s mind and it led to his downfall. Another factor that could’ve come into play would be Ali’s record against Lyon. The Aussie offie troubled his English counterpart throughout the 2017-18 summer and consumed him seven times in that series. Hence, it was Lyon once again who got his bunny and England slipped further.
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