Ashes: Marsh, Wood stand out on rollercoaster day


A burst of breakneck speed from Mark Wood breathed life into England’s Ashes campaign as the third Test got off to a feisty start at Headingley.

Four days on from the stumping controversy that dogged the previous match at Lord’s, Wood bamboozled Australia with express pace that topped 96 miles per hour and claimed five for 34 in the tourists’ 263 all out.

A one-man show from comeback kid Mitch Marsh was responsible for the majority of those runs, but his breathtaking run-a-ball 118 would not have been possible had Joe Root not put him down at slip with just 12 to his name.

That was one of four drops for an England side whose collection of missed chances is starting to become a worrying theme of the summer.

Root, with 19 not out, has the chance to make amends with the bat on day two with England 68 for three in response.

Mark Wood holds up the ball after claiming a magnificent five-wicket haul•Jul 06, 2023•Getty Images

With him at the crease is Jonny Bairstow, the man at the centre of last Sunday’s flashpoint dismissal and one who always brings his best when there is a score to settle.

Australia’s struggles either side of Marsh’s fireworks – four for 91 in the morning session and a collapse of six for 23 as Wood mopped up – went down well with a raucous crowd, who booed and barracked the opposition with gusto all day.

The two players involved in Bairstow’s controversial dismissal copped the worst of the anger but both held their nerve, Cummins dismissing Ben Duckett and Harry Brook and Carey pulling off a fine leaping catch.

But the moment belonged to Wood, making his first Test appearance since December and held back for the first two matches due to worries over his fitness, as he recorded his best ever performance on home soil. (SportsMax)


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