England reaches 91-2 after 1st session of 3rd Ashes test

England reaches 91-2 after 1st session of 3rd Ashes test

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Perth,(AP/UNB) – Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood struck just before lunch to check England’s promising start to the must-win third Ashes test against Australia.Hazlewood bowled three consecutive maiden overs before having No.3 batsman James Vince (25) caught behind to end the 63-run second-wicket stand that had given England the ascendency on the first morning. England reached the interval minutes later at 91 for two.Opener Mark Stoneman (48) and skipper Joe Root (0) will resume after the break following England’s decision to bat first after winning the toss.Stoneman and Vince batted with ease until Hazlewood (1-18) struck in the penultimate over before the break Alastair Cook’s poor form in the series continued, and the former England skipper managed just seven runs off 26 balls in his 150th test appearance before left-arm swing bowler Mitchell Starc pinned him on the crease and trapped him lbw.On a pitch offering a lot of encouragement for the Australian pace trio in what is the WACA’s last test as Perth’s premier cricket venue, left hander Stoneman kick-started the innings with four boundaries in the space of five deliveries.He smashed three boundaries off consecutive Strac deliveries as England raced along at a run-a-minute.Starc, Hazlewood and Pat Cummins tested Stoneman with bounces but the opener did well to survive despite lobbing a few perilously short of the close fielders.Starc (1-30) in particular extracted steep bounce with a couple of deliveries flying well above the outstretched gloves of wicketkeeper Tim Paine.England retained the same starting XI from the loss last week in the inaugural day-night Ashes test in Adelaide, with a minor change in the batting order to have Jonny Bairstow batting at No. 6 and Moeen Ali dropped to No. 7.Australia made one change, recalling allrounder Mitchell Marsh at the expense of middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb.The start of the game was overshadowed by a British newspaper report alleging international attempts to fix parts of it.The Sun newspaper published purported evidence of bookmakers offering to sell details of rigged periods of play for betting purposes, or so-called spot fixing.The International Cricket Council immediately launched an investigation, supported by the cricket boards of Australia and England.”From my initial assessment of the material, there is no evidence, either from The Sun or via our own intelligence, to suggest the current test match has been corrupted,” ICC anti-corruption unit general manager Alex Marshall said. “At this stage of the investigation, there is no indication that any players in this test have been in contact with the alleged fixers.”UNB news agency

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