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England Need 224 Runs to Keep Ashes Hopes Alive

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In the third men’s Ashes Test at Headingley, England finds themselves in a must-win situation as they chase 251 runs to stay in the series against Australia. The rain-shortened third day witnessed an exhilarating contest between the two teams.

After bundling Australia out for 224, England ended the day at 27-0, needing another 224 runs to secure victory. The English bowlers exploited favorable conditions, reducing Australia from 116-4 to 170-8. However, Travis Head played a brilliant innings reminiscent of Ben Stokes, scoring 77 runs with seven fours and three sixes before getting caught in the deep.

England faced a daunting challenge of surviving 25 minutes, but Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett displayed resilience, hitting four boundaries in five overs to provide a solid foundation.

A defeat for England would grant Australia their first Ashes series win in England since 2001. The stage is set for a gripping finale at Headingley, where everything is at stake for the English side.

Day three at Headingley: A Nail-Biting Encounter

The action-packed two and a half hours of play has set the stage for a thrilling climax, with England’s hopes hanging by a thread. Led by Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, England has successfully chased down larger targets four times in the past year, including a memorable victory against Australia on this very ground in 2019 when they pursued 359 runs.

However, this task will not come easily. England’s bowlers, spearheaded by Chris Woakes and supported by Mark Wood and Stuart Broad, initially gained the upper hand, only to have their momentum halted by Head’s aggressive batting as darkness gave way to a sunny evening.

England’s chase began with Crawley elegantly clipping the ball to the mid-wicket boundary. In the following over, hearts raced as Duckett survived a review for a catch down the leg side and edged a delivery just short of second slip off Mitchell Starc.

One over later, Duckett was struck on the glove by Pat Cummins. In response, he unleashed a flurry of boundaries, including an exquisite cover drive, ensuring England ended the day with a slim advantage.

Head Sets a Challenging Target for England

After a long wait due to rain, Woakes provided England with an ideal start by dismissing Mitchell Marsh in the third over of the day. Marsh, who scored a century in the first innings, managed just 11 runs before gloving a delivery behind while trying to leave it.

Woakes claimed another victim when wicketkeeper Alex Carey fell in a similar manner for five runs, the ball deflecting onto the stumps as Carey withdrew his bat.

With the tail exposed, England turned to fast bowler Wood. He swiftly removed Starc, who lofted a bouncer into the air for Harry Brook to take a sharp catch. Cummins followed suit, offering a thin edge behind after contributing only one run.

Debutant Todd Murphy showed great composure, smashing Wood for a boundary off his first ball. Despite the gloomy conditions, Head attacked England’s short-ball strategy, hitting Wood for consecutive sixes over the leg side.

As Head’s attacking play put England on the back foot, Broad struck back, dismissing Murphy lbw for 11 before ultimately catching Head at deep mid-wicket to end the innings.

Reactions and Expectations

Michael Vaughan, former England captain, shared his thoughts on Test Match Special: “England have had a perfect day. I believe they will reach the target, but it will be a dramatic finish. We should brace ourselves for some tense moments.”

Glenn McGrath, former Australia bowler, emphasized the need for patience from the Australian side: “The scoreboard won’t faze England. They will play without fear. Australia must remain patient, considering the variable bounce in this pitch. They shouldn’t go hunting for wickets, as they will be punished. There are more twists and turns to come in this match.”

Chris Woakes, England bowler, expressed his team’s optimism: “I think we’re in a really good position. We still have to chase down another 220 runs to win this Test match. But if we were offered this opportunity after the first innings, we would’ve gladly taken it.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ashes

What is the current situation in the Ashes series?

England is facing a crucial situation in the Ashes series as they are chasing a target of 224 runs to keep their hopes alive. They need to win the third Test match against Australia to stay in contention.

How did the third day at Headingley unfold?

The third day at Headingley was rain-affected, but it witnessed intense cricketing action. England’s bowlers took advantage of favorable conditions and bowled out Australia for 224 runs. In response, England ended the day at 27-0, requiring 224 runs for victory.

Can England still win the Ashes series?

Yes, if England successfully chases down the target of 224 runs in the third Test, they can still win the Ashes series. A loss in this match would result in Australia winning an Ashes series in England for the first time since 2001.

Who were the key players in the match?

Travis Head played a crucial innings for Australia, scoring 77 runs in an aggressive manner. England’s Chris Woakes and Mark Wood performed exceptionally well with the ball, taking key wickets during Australia’s innings.

How has the match been described by experts?

Experts have described the match as thrilling, intense, and poised for a dramatic finish. They have emphasized the importance of patience for both teams and expect further twists and turns in the match.

Has England faced such situations in the past?

Yes, England has experienced similar pressure situations in the past, particularly under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum. They have successfully chased down larger targets and have a history of pulling off remarkable victories in challenging circumstances.

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AusCricketFan July 9, 2023 - 1:09 am

australia’s got a good chance to win the Ashes in england after sooo long. come on, aussies! patience is key, can’t let england chase it down.

CricketStatsGeek July 9, 2023 - 8:40 am

woakes and wood were on fire! took crucial wickets for england. can’t wait for the next day, gonna be full of drama and twists!

StokesyFan July 9, 2023 - 12:06 pm

stokes mode on for Head, he batted like a champ! reminded me of our legend Ben Stokes. england’s openers gave them a good start too. fingers crossed!

AshesLover23 July 9, 2023 - 6:46 pm

Headingley’s rain day was tense but england did well to bowl aus out for 224! now they gotta score those runs. nail-biter for sure!

cricketfan97 July 9, 2023 - 8:28 pm

woww!!! england has a BIG task ahead! they gotta chase 224 runs to save the Ashes! so intense!


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