Marcus Harris. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Marcus Harris. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

‘Absolute joke’: Ashes fans fume

England dominated day one of the third Ashes Test, bowling Australia out for 179 on the stroke of stumps.

David Warner (61) and Marnus Labuschagne (74) were the only visiting batsmen to get on a roll as Jofra Archer took six wickets.

Here are all the talking points from the day.

'ABSOLUTE JOKE': CRICKET FANS FUME

With so much rain around fans who'd paid good money for their seats at Headingley were desperate to see as much play as possible when conditions dried up.

But even when the rain stopped, bad light came to crash the party.

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Despite the floodlights being on, players who'd returned to the field from a rain delay were forced off soon after because the umpires deemed it too dark to keep the action going. David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne were happy to walk back to the dressing room but England loitered out in the middle, clearly disappointed at being told to stop bowling.

Boos rang out from the western terrace as angry fans voiced their anger at being robbed of any action.

Their fury was warranted when you consider only 18 overs were bowled in the first five-and-a-half hours after the scheduled start of play.

English cricket writer Chris Stocks was furious, as were plenty of others.

AUSTRALIA'S 69-YEAR LOW

Australia's top order woes continued as Marcus Harris failed to make an impact in his first Test of the series.

The opener replaced out-of-form Cameron Bancroft in Leeds but the switch didn't pay dividends as he was nicked off by Jofra Archer for eight from the last ball before rain intervened and brought an early lunch.

Harris played and missed several times before Archer finally found the outside edge to reduce Australia to 1/12.

Australia's openers have been horribly out of touch all series and Harris's inclusion didn't change things. The tourists' opening partnerships this series have been: 2, 13, 11, 13 and 12.

The 51 runs produced by the opening partnerships on this tour represent the worst streak by an Australian top two to start an Ashes series since 1950/51, when the top order managed just 50 runs in five opening stands.

Bancroft scored just 44 runs in the opening two Tests while Warner was unable to make it into double figures at Edgbaston or Lord's, but bounced back with a vital 61 on day one at Headingley.

ENGLAND LOSE THE PLOT BEFORE BOUNCING BACK

England lost the plot after tea as Australia defied the bowler-friendly conditions before a huge momentum shift.

In 11 overs after tea the Aussies piled on 70 runs at a rate that should not have been possible on a seaming wicket under grey skies that were helping the ball nip around.

But England's bowlers - Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes in particular - were far too wayward and fielding standards slipped as the tourists were twice gifted four overthrows.

English cricket writers and former England star Adam Hollioake were quick to slam the home side for its insipid display with the ball when conditions were still helpful for the fielding team.

But no sooner were critics lashing England's lacklustre showing than the hosts rebounded, taking three wickets for three runs to turn the game back in its favour.

Jofra Archer had David Warner caught behind, Stuart Broad bowled Travis Head with a beauty and Archer disturbed Matthew Wade's woodwork as Australia collapsed from 2/136 to 5/139 in no time.

MARNUS MADE OF THE RIGHT STUFF

Marnus Labuschagne impressed with a match-saving 59 after replacing Steve Smith as the concussion substitute at Lord's and he enhanced his reputation further with a classy 74 to top-score for the Aussies at Headingley.

Labuschagne made his Test debut last year despite having a first-class average under 38 and there were plenty of questions about whether he deserved a spot in the top six of the national side.

Well played, mate. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Well played, mate. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

But there will be far fewer doubters now after his second consecutive half century was, along with David Warner's 61, the only thing standing between Australia and complete humiliation.

Labuschagne was solid off both feet in defence and at the start of his innings shelved any big drives in favour of working balls off his legs when the bowlers got too straight.

His judgment of what to play and what to leave was superb and he showed no ill-effects from getting smashed in the grill by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord's, happy to rock onto the back foot and pull and hook whenever England dropped short.

A maiden Test century was within reach but Labuschagne fell LBW in strange fashion when he missed a Ben Stokes full toss that hit him on the top of the pad and sent him sprawling to the ground just before stumps.

ARCHER HITS THE MARK

Jofra Archer's pace was down and there were concerns he'd been hurt by being over-bowled on debut at Lord's.

The fiery quick sent down 42 of the hosts' 142 overs in London and with only three days between Tests some pundits feared he would lack the same impact after carrying such a heavy workload.

But they need not have worried.

While he wasn't always as rapid as he showed at the home of cricket, Archer still cranked things up when needed and he was the difference on day one as he finished with 6/45 from 17.1 overs.

Too good. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Too good. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Once again he bowled more than any other teammate but with several breaks in play because of rain and bad light he was able to remain fresh. He'd already taken the wicket of Marcus Harris (caught behind) and he brought England back into the contest in the final session when he was needed most.

Warner and Labuschagne scored 70 runs in 11 overs after tea as the hosts lost their lines and lengths but Archer dismissed Warner caught behind with a great delivery that caught his outside edge after being brought back into the attack.

Next he bowled Matthew Wade then he cleaned up the tail by having James Pattinson caught at slip, Pat Cummins caught behind and trapping Nathan Lyon LBW to ensure the Aussies ended day one on a sour note.



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