England’s Ashes hopes dwindling as dominant Australia turn screw in third Test

England were swept aside for a calamitous 67 all out on day two of the third Ashes Test at Headingley, a sorry performance that could end their hopes of reclaiming the urn.

Replying to Australia’s modest 179 the home side turned in a collectively inept performance, collapsing in a heap inside 28 overs.

Australia reached tea at 82 for three, a healthy lead of 194 leading into an extended final session as they seek to claim a decisive 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Just one English batsman made double figures, though Joe Denly’s error-strewn 12 was hardly a cause for celebration, and their final tally goes down as their third lowest Ashes total on home turf and their worst in the series since 1948.

It is also their third score under 100 in 2019, following on from 77 against the West Indies and 85 against Ireland, a trend that is rapidly becoming a fatal flaw.

The tourists bowled wonderfully well, particularly Josh Hazlewood with five for 30, but the resistance was unforgivably limp.

The all-too-familiar collapse began with Jason Roy’s latest failure at the top of the order, following a Hazlewood delivery he might comfortably have left and feeding David Warner the first of four catches at slip.

Roy had just nine to his name, his exact average across six disappointing innings at opener – an experiment which appears to be heading to its conclusion.

Hazlewood’s next blow was even more grievous, Joe Root nicking his second ball and Warner tumbling left to take a sharp chance.

Having made the first golden duck of his career at Lord’s last week this was now the first time Root had banked successive noughts.

Pat Cummins soon joined in, hitting Rory Burns’ forearm with a bouncer then cashing in as the opener took on the next one but gloved it behind to make it 20 for three.

Ben Stokes had been promoted to five following last week’s unbeaten century but he produced the worst shot yet, following a boundary through point by chasing a wide from James Pattinson.

Down on one knee at the point of contact he stretched himself into an ugly position only to pick out Warner in the cordon.

Somehow Denly was still there. He was beaten seven times before getting off the mark, edging one, overturning an lbw decision and playing and missing on five occasions.

Things barely improved, almost chopping on twice and surviving another lbw shout, before he finally edged one from Pattinson to end a tortured stay.

Hazlewood and Warner combined once more before lunch, Jonny Bairstow the latest victim, leaving England 45 for six.

Any hopes of the interval bringing a shift in fortunes were misplaced, with the next four wickets tumbling for 13.

Chris Woakes fell to the first ball of the afternoon, brushing Cummins to the wicketkeeper, and Jos Buttler picked out a perfectly-positioned short cover as Hazlewood’s relentless probing continued.

Archer lifted the careworn crowd for a moment with a mow through midwicket but forgot to remove the bat when ducking a Cummins bumper and guided it through to Paine.

Hazlewood deservedly applied the finishing touch, bowling Jack Leach round his legs to complete his seventh five-for.

The sense of deflation around the ground was palpable, let alone the despair that would have been taking place among the bowlers as they laced up their boots again.

Stuart Broad did his best to rekindle the flame, continuing his domination of Warner by pinning the left-hander for nought with his second ball.

Leach followed up with his first ball of the match, bowling Marcus Harris through the gate with a big turner for 19, but with England needing to attack the ball occasionally disappeared into gaps and towards the boundary.

Usman Khawaja was responsible for four of those before Woakes had him held by Roy at second slip, leaving Marnus Labuschagne (13 not out) and Travis Head (17no) to play for tea.

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