Joe Denly leads the way as England take charge of final Ashes Test

14 Sep

England set the stage for a series-levelling victory on day three of the final Ashes Test, with new father Joe Denly leading the way with a career-best 94.

Denly, who joined wife Stacy for the birth of their second child after play on Thursday night, would have loved to mark a memorable week with a maiden century but, as consolation prizes go, his knock at The Oval will take some beating.

Denley put in a spirited batting performance

Betraying no signs of sleeplessness the 33-year-old not only made a strong case for his international career to continue this winter – far from a done deal when he walked to the crease – but also played a decisive role in England’s 382-run lead at stumps.

In piling up 313 for eight at stumps, Ben Stokes (67) and Jos Buttler (47) with the key supporting roles, the home side made themselves heavy favourites to make it 2-2 at some point over the next two days.

To achieve their goal of a first outright win on these shores in 18 years Australia need to produce a chase considerably better than the 359 Stokes improbably hunted down at Headingley, though Steve Smith’s presence at number four makes just about anything possible.

Smith, who has 751 runs in six innings, refuses to stay out of the game and here claimed four catches at slip including one quite brilliant leaping one-hander late in the day.


But Australia were far from flawless in the field, with captain Tim Paine’s declining to review sound lbw appeals against Denly on 54 and Buttler on 19 while Stokes survived a couple of tricky chances.

Denly had been dropped on nought late on the second evening and there was a sense of freedom to his early strokeplay, with he and Rory Burns settling in with some nerve-settling early boundaries.

The introduction of Nathan Lyon only accelerated things, Denly skipping down the track twice in his first over of the day loft the spinner back down the ground for four and six.

When Burns punched Peter Siddle down the ground it brought up the first half-century opening stand all summer, a modest hill that had become an Everest for these sides.
Burns fell for 20 shortly afterwards, groping at a long-hop from Lyon and feathering into Paine’s gloves.

Denly set out his stall to bat out the session, reaching lunch on 37 from 101 balls, but captain Joe Root made an unconvincing 21 before falling 10 minutes before the break. It was an innocuous off-break from Lyon, doing little more than holding its line but pinging to slip as Root pushed forward.

England are in a good position to level the series

The lead stood at 157 at the interval, with England’s position only strengthened by their eight wickets in hand.

The afternoon’s play saw the hosts advance their case to the tune of 105 runs without further loss as Denly and Stokes combined several slices of luck with increasingly fluent strokeplay.

Stokes offered a clear chance on seven when he rocked back and edged a cut straight at Smith, who grassed a brisk chance at head height.

Lyon was the unlucky bowler and was soon counting the cost, Stokes picking up four from a mis-field then sweeping the next delivery for six into the Peter May Stand.

Denly secured a fourth half-century in England whites with a neat flick off the pads but had a heart-in-mouth moment soon after, Mitchell Marsh forcing one into his back pad.

His appeal was long and passionate but it was waved away by Marais Erasmus before Paine declined to review. When the replays were ready, they confirmed Marsh’s suspicions.

The scoreboard kept ticking but Stokes might have run himself out twice had Australia managed better throws and on 52 found himself grateful that substitute fielder Cameron Bancroft failed to pull off one of his trademark grabs at short-leg.

Peter Siddle was the man to remove Denley

Stokes started the evening at a bullish tempo but when he was undone by a superb Lyon delivery, ripping past the bat and into off stump, all eyes were on Denly. He had ticked off his previous best of 69 and taken tea on 82.

He got within one blow of three figures – albeit an ambitious one – but could not get there, squared up by Siddle and nicking off. The ball flicked Paine’s thigh, with the wicketkeeper standing up, but did not get past Smith.

He prodded forlornly at the turf as he reluctantly left, but his efforts left the team 291 ahead.

Proceedings sped up thereafter, with 91 runs and four wickets moving the script along. Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes came and went swiftly, the latter courtesy of Smith’s stunning reactions, but Buttler’s sweet timing kept England on top.

He was last out to another fine catch, from Marnus Labuschagne, leaving Jofra Archer and Jack Leach in place at the close.

Kevin Pietersen brands England cult figure Jack Leach a ‘laughing stock’ after Australia retain the Ashes

10 Sep

Kevin Pietersen has laid into England spinner Jack Leach for his poor performances during the 2019 Ashes series.

Leach became a cult hero to fans for his one not out at Headingley to help tie the series with Australia.

Jack Leach frustrated the Australian side with his constant glasses cleaning
AFP or licensors

Videos emerged of the Somerset player re-enacting the run for his team-mates after the game and was even offered glasses for life by Specsavers.

But Pietersen did not see the funny side of things and the former England batsman did not hold back in his criticism as Australia retained the Ashes by winning at Old Trafford.

“It’s doing my head in that a bloke who’s supposed to win games for England is becoming a laughing stock,” he said, writing for Betway.

“You’ve got people in the stands taking the mickey out of him, wearing masks and fake glasses. Commentators are talking about his Specsavers deal.

“England are losing an Ashes series and he’s only taken eight wickets at 30 in three Test matches.

“It doesn’t look like he’s troubled anyone.”

Pietersen also commented on Leach re-enacting that famous one run following the incredible win Headingley.

“Now I’m not saying that you don’t do these things,” he continued.

“It can be good for team spirit to have a bit of fun. But, from my side, I want to win. I don’t want to see the crowd talking about how funny he is.

“I want to see him winning matches for England with his bowling.”

Steve Harmison backs Joe Root to remain England captain and says Ben Stokes should ‘never ever’ get the job

9 Sep

Steve Harmison has backed Joe Root to remain in his role as England captain and rubbished suggestions Ben Stokes should replace him.

England were beaten in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford on Sunday as Australia retained the Ashes with one game left to play.

Harmison does not believe Ben Stokes is the right man to lead England
AFP or licensors

Current skipper Root has come in for some criticism and even faced calls to relinquish the role.

Geoffrey Boycott wrote in The Telegraph that it was time for him to consider stepping down.

The England legend claims Root ‘lacks any feel for captaincy’ and believes he does not possess the ‘gift’ of being a natural leader.

Harmison, though, disagrees with that view, telling talkSPORT Root is the only man for the job while explaining why it would be a major mistake to make Stokes skipper.

Joe Root’s captaincy has come into question
Getty Images - Getty

He told talkSPORT: “He (Joe Root) is the only man to lead England forward. You look through the group and I look round and there is no option.

“I would never ever give the captaincy to Stokes. I’ve seen what happened to Andrew Flintoff when they gave it to him.

“That’s not being negative to Andrew, it’s just that he was the man to take everything on.

“Whatever anybody does, do not give the captaincy to Ben Stokes because of what he’s got on his plate every time he goes out to bowl and bat.

“He is our talisman and lead figure. History tells you, Botham didn’t last too long, Flintoff had too much on his plate with a poor side.

“The last thing the England cricket team need is Stokes as captain.

“The only one you could go for from a senior point of view, who has performed well in The Ashes, is Broad.

“He’s been England captain before but I don’t want him to be captain and I don’t think he needs the captaincy at this time.

“It has to be Joe.”

Harmison was not the only person calling for Root to stay on as captain with Surrey’s Gareth Batty believing he is the best man for the job.

Batty told talkSPORT: “He stays on absolutely. It’s just obvious that people make more criticisms when it isn’t going so well as when it is going well.

“Does he get the accolades he should when England are going well? It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.”

Australia lead the five match series 2-1 with one game left to play at The Oval.

England have named an unchanged squad for that match starting on Thursday.

Australia retain the Ashes as they beat England in dramatic final day of fourth Test at Old Trafford

8 Sep

Australia retained the Ashes as England failed to bat out the final day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

It was always going to be a tough job for England to keep out the Australian bowlers with just eight wickets remaining.

The tailenders managed to take it to the final hour of the day but Tim Paine’s side took the vital final wicket to take a 2-1 series lead.

Josh Hazlewood celebrates taking the final England wicket
Getty Images - Getty

Resuming on 18 for two and facing the prospect of batting out a full 98-over day to prevent Australia retaining with a 2-1 series lead, the home side lost four wickets in the first two sessions.

Joe Denly made 53 in 123 deliveries as he showed the way, with Buttler on 30 from 96 by the time he and Craig Overton walked off to a huge roar of approval from a sell-out 23,500 crowd.

Pat Cummins’ removal of Rory Burns and Joe Root on Saturday night had been a hammer blow for England, denying the hosts their two most durable performers from the first innings.

In their stead it fell to Jason Roy and Denly, two men with points to prove. There were a couple of lbw shouts against Denly in the opening overs, both sliding down leg side, while Roy was able to coax the first big cheer when he tucked the ball through midwicket for four.

Joe Denly scored a half-century on the final day of the fourth Ashes Test
Getty Images - Getty

Both men were playing cautiously until Denly’s patience wavered, chasing a wide delivery from Mitchell Starc and seeing a wild outside edge sail over the cordon. To even consider playing at such a ball was an error but he survived with nothing worse than a lesson learned and four runs to his name.

It took Paine just eight overs to send for Nathan Lyon’s spin and Denly greeted him by sweeping hard to the boundary. There were a couple of nervy moments, Roy almost offering a bat-pad chance and Denly’s slog-sweep landing just in front of the fielder, but otherwise all was well for the hosts.

By the time Roy leant on a nicely-timed cover drive off Starc an hour had passed and England were had moved along to 56.

Nathan Lyon celebrates taking a wicket at Old Trafford
Getty Images - Getty

Australia were searching for a breakthrough and, after 18 overs and 80 minutes, Cummins provided it. It was another fine delivery from the world number one, seaming in between bat and pad and hitting the target.

Roy’s work was done on 31 and his departure brought Ben Stokes to the crease, to the expected deafening welcome. The Headingley hero lasted just 17 deliveries, though, caught in two minds by one that moved back in and flicked the inside edge of an attempted leave.

Umpire Marais Erasmus was not sure, but Australia knew they had their man and Stokes opted to walk before DRS was required. Lunch came at 87 for four, with the ominous prospect of an extended afternoon session hovering into view.

Joe Denly was the pick of the England batters
AFP or licensors

Denly was on 48 at the break and, though runs were no more than an afterthought in the wider scheme, a half-century was an important personal milestone.

A punch down the ground off Cummins got him there, for the third time in seven Tests, but his race was almost run. Lyon had bowled 47 wicketless overs in the match when he got one to turn and bounce, forcing Denly back and nudging the glove on its way to short-leg.

After holding the fort for exactly 100 balls on the day, he was out. It left England with one more partnership before the tail was exposed.

Bairstow and Jos Buttler put on 45 but ate up little more than an hour’s play, not quite enough to introduce any jitters.

Paine felt brave enough to fritter three overs on the part-time spin of Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head but made sure to give the first ball after the drinks break to Starc. It was fast, angling in from round the wicket and destined for leg stump – Bairstow called for DRS but to no avail.

Number eight Overton proved a doughty foil for Buttler, both men surviving another challenging burst from Cummins as a replacement ball began swinging sharply.

Australia thought they had removed Overton with the first ball after tea as Labuschagne grasped a catch fielding close to the bat but the ball had hit the body.

The breakthrough came when Buttler (34) misjudged the line off Hazlewood and was bowled leaving the ball. His removal for 34 left England 172 for seven and needing a rearguard from the tail.

Jofra Archer did not last long, scoring only one before being trapped lbw by Lyon with a ball that kept low.

England were 173 for eight with Australia needing just two more wickets for victory.

Overton survived a loud appeal for lbw off Hazlewood after another lengthy review. He then formed a stubborn ninth-wicket partnership with Jack Leach, taking the score to 195 for eight off 85 overs, with 20 remaining in the day.

Jack Leach frustrated the Australian side
AFP or licensors

Leach’s resistance came to an end after Paine turned to Labuschagne’s leg-spin.

Leach offered a simple catch to Matthew Wade close in, ending his innings of 12 after 51 balls. Australia were closing in on victory with England 196 for nine.

The game ended when Hazlewood trapped Overton lbw, ending his stubborn innings of 105 balls for 21. The England man called for a review but the decision stood.

Australia celebrated retaining the Ashes with victory by 185 runs.

The Ashes 2019: Steve Smith’s double hundred at Old Trafford puts Australia in control of fourth Test against England

5 Sep

Steve Smith’s double century at Old Trafford gave Australia a huge advantage in the fourth Ashes Test.

Smith scored 211 before England eventually removed the world’s best batsman as Australia declared on 497 for eight.

It was his 26th Test hundred, and third double against England, as he took his series tally to 589 in just four innings.

Australia declared in the last hour of play to try and get a wicket or two before the close and managed to remove Joe Denly.

Steve Smith scored a double hundred against England at Old Trafford
Getty Images - Getty

England ended the day on 23 for one with Rory Burns and Craig Overton the not out batsmen.

It was a day dominated by Smith, though, as the home side struggled to get him out yet again.

England had chances to get him, Jofra Archer missing a caught and bowled chance on 65 and Jack Leach having him caught at slip only to see the wicket scrubbed off for a front-foot no-ball.

He was last man out, home captain Joe Root his unlikely downfall courtesy of a leg-break reverse swept to short third man, but a late flurry of 59 runs in 49 balls from Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc persuaded Tim Paine to call his men in and have a late bowl at England’s openers.

England again struggled to remove Steve Smith
Getty Images - Getty

Smith put on a 145 partnership with Paine who was also dropped twice, by Jason Roy and substitute fielder Sam Curran, on his way to 58.

England will rue the fact they did not get Smith in a nervy period at the start of play, with Stuart Broad beating the batsman with the first two balls of the morning as he resumed on 60.

Archer kept the pressure on at the other end and should have had Smith with his third delivery, a low, full toss which was pushed straight back at the seamer.

It appeared to be a relatively-simple return chance but Archer failed to get a firm hand on it and a golden opportunity for England turned into four runs for Australia.

England were able to put an end to Travis Head’s sketchy innings of 19, Broad’s round-the-wicket angle to left-handers racking up another victim as he picked up his second lbw of the Test and 17th wicket of the series.

Matthew Wade was next to abandon Smith, making a deeply-unconvincing 16 before racing down the pitch in a bid to smash Leach over the top.

Instead of the mighty connection he envisaged, the ball soared skywards and eventually dropped into Root’s hands at mid-on, notwithstanding a few nervy moments as England waited underneath.

Smith moved to 99 with 10 successive singles and then flicked Craig Overton to mid-wicket for two to bring up his 26th Test century, 11 of which have come against England.

England should have started the afternoon session with the scalp of Paine, who nicked a wide one from Broad on nine only for Roy to fumble the chance.

Stuart Broad was England’s best bowler
AFP or licensors

Remarkably, things only got more frustrating from there. First Smith hoiked Leach wildly into the off-side, but safe between two fielders, on 108 then he banked back-to-back boundaries off Ben Stokes – the second a brilliantly-precise steer to the left of gully.

Then came the killer moment, Leach finding the outside edge and Stokes holding a smart slip catch. England finally had their man and Stokes’ reaction – hurling the ball into the ground with force – showed how much it meant.

Then a pause as Smith was told the replays were being checked. Leach had overstepped and England’s bubble was burst.

Joe Denly was removed in the last 10 overs of the day
AFP or licensors

Their best hope now was the new ball but its arrival was a false dawn, Smith digging back in after his reprieve to go past 150 and Paine upping his share of the workload.

Root sent for Stokes to make something happen but he lasted just five balls, wincing in pain before admitting defeat and spending 20 minutes off the field receiving treatment on a sore shoulder.

The blows kept coming for the hosts, Curran dropping Paine on 49 after he mis-hit Archer to mid-on.

Australia piled on 128 in 25 overs after tea, Smith eventually falling to Root’s part-timers only for Starc to pick up the baton with 54 in 58 balls.

Faced with the prospect of 10 overs before stumps England reached 23 for one – Joe Denly’s return to opener yielding just four runs before he turned Pat Cummins to short-leg, where Matthew Wade held one-handed at the second attempt.

Everton vs Wolves: Australia Ashes stars Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon ‘booed’ by Goodison Park crowd as the pair are introduced at half-time

1 Sep

Australian cricketers Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle got a frosty reception at Goodison Park after being introduced to the crowd.

The Aussie pair were attending the Everton vs Wolves clash in Merseyside on Sunday.

Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle were watching Everton vs Wolves
Getty Images - Getty

Lyon and Siddle were paraded on the pitch at the half-time break, while wearing Everton scarves, but did not get the best of receptions.

Journalist David Downie tweeted that both were introduced to the crowd and were booed almost immediately before swiftly leaving.

The Toffees won the match 3-2 thanks to Richarlison’s double and a header from Alex Iwobi. Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez scored Wolves’ goals.

The move to have both of them paraded on the pitch at half-time in the Premier League club left people on Twitter confused to say the least.

The pair are currently preparing for the fourth Test of the Ashes, which starts on Wednesday.

The series is currently tied 1-1 after a thrilling third Test at Headingley ended with an England one wicket win thanks to Ben Stokes’ heroics.

Lyon has 14 wickets from the first three matches while Siddle has taken five in the two he has been a part of.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever. 

Ben Stokes is now officially a Tottenham fan after England Ashes hero is sent Spurs shirt

30 Aug

England cricket hero Ben Stokes is now a Tottenham fan after being sent a Spurs shirt.

Stokes hit 135 not out on Sunday as he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for England to keep the 2019 Ashes series alive.

Ben Stokes is now officially a Tottenham fan
Getty Images - Getty

There were jubilant scenes from cricket fans up and down the country, including at the new White Hart Lane.

The 28-year-old, who plays county cricket for Durham, was shown a video of the celebrations and admitted he was ‘looking for a football team to support’ as he did not follow any club.

Stokes tweeted on Friday that he was now officially a Spurs fan after being sent a shirt with his name on the back.

He said: “Never supported a club, always wanted to but never loved football enough really. My first ever football top was actually a Tottenham one, it was the blue and yellow kit with Thomson on the front.

“But after getting sent this I guess I’m now officially a Spurs fan.”

Stokes virtually kept England in the Ashes singlehandedly with his performance in the third Test.

Had they lost, then Australia would have retained the Ashes but the series is now tied 1-1 with two matches left to play.

Stokes told talkSPORT that his personal achievements would mean nothing unless England go on to win the series.

Ben Stokes is a ‘legend in the making’ and England’s greatest ever all-rounder, claims Moeen Ali

27 Aug

Moeen Ali believes that ‘legend in the making’ Ben Stokes is England’s greatest ever all-rounder.

Ali has ranked his England colleague above the likes of Sir Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff following Stokes’ third Test heroics against Australia at Headingley.

Stokes produced one of the all-time great innings in the third Ashes Test
Getty Images - Getty

Stokes’ unbeaten 135 drove the hosts to a remarkable one-wicket victory as England posted their highest-ever Test match run chase to deny Australia and level the Ashes series with two games left.

“He is the best cricketer I have played alongside, and while it might be a massive shout – and admittedly he is a very close friend – I would argue he is now the greatest all-rounder this country has ever produced,” Moeen told the Guardian.

“To deliver an innings like the one he played at Headingley, just six weeks after winning us the World Cup final and with the Ashes on the line, is what seals it for me.

“I know there are past greats like Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff, but we’re watching another legend in the making here.

“What we witnessed on Sunday wasn’t a fluke. Seriously, you will not find a cricketer more dedicated to self-improvement. He trains at 100mph and is just unrelenting with it.

“As a batsman, he has become excellent at judging scenarios. He now has the all-round game and technique to adapt.

“Refusing to celebrate personal milestones sums him up, too. It is team first, every time.”

Botham, meanwhile, has described Stokes as a “world box-office attraction” and says the Durham all-rounder’s life will never be the same again.

The 63-year-old former England captain told the Daily Telegraph: “He is the Special One, and I intend to call him that for the rest of his career.

Stokes’ superb innings has breathed new life into the Ashes
AFP or licensors

“He wants to be the best. He wants to be in the oven. He wants to be in the hottest place in the kitchen, and he wants to take them all on. That is his character.”

Botham produced a similarly stunning batting performance to famously help England beat Australia at Headingley in 1981.

After England had been forced to follow-on and then reduced to 135 for seven in their second innings, the all-rounder scored an unbeaten 149 to help his side total 356.

That set Australia a target of 130 for victory but they were dismissed for 111 as Bob Willis claimed figures of eight for 43.

Root’s side have a good chance of Ashes victory
Getty Images - Getty

Botham said: “It changed my life overnight. I think Ben’s life will be the same. He will have no private life. He has to get used to that, and so do his family.

“He is public property, but it is a great place to be in for the long term.

“It will set him up for life. He will reap the rewards which he richly deserves, and he is now a world, box-office attraction.”
Stokes’ match-winning efforts at Headingley have also seen him rise to career-high positions in the ICC Test rankings among both batsmen and all-rounders.

The 28-year-old is now 13th in the batting standings, a climb of 13 places, while he has moved up two spots to second in the all-rounders category, behind West Indies captain Jason Holder.

Ashes 2019: England collapse at Headingley as Australia take charge on day two of third Test

23 Aug

England were dismissed for a calamitous 67 as their hopes of reclaiming the Ashes were left hanging by a thread on a day of misery for their misfiring Test batsmen.

Joe Root’s side arrived at Headingley on the second morning of the third Test with a huge chance to play their way into a series-levelling position after toppling Australia for 179 but turned in a sorry, insipid display.

Joe Denly’s woeful 12 was England’s highest score
Getty Images - Getty

They were sunk inside 28 overs for England’s third-lowest Ashes score on home turf and the eighth worst overall. Australia responded by reaching 171 for six at stumps, a lead of 283 that positions the holders to go 2-0 ahead with two to play.

The tourists deserve considerable credit for a fine bowling performance, not least Josh Hazlewood’s highly-skilled five for 30, but the horror collapse has become a frustratingly frequent flaw.

This was the fourth time since the start of 2018 that England have been blasted out in double figures – with three of those in the past seven Tests – and it increasingly looks like a structural problem that requires serious and immediate attention.

England will never forget the joy of winning its first World Cup earlier this summer but that cherished moment, and the prolonged period of white-ball emphasis that preceded it, might have come at a price.

Meanwhile, Jofra Archer briefly left the field with suspected cramp late in the day, a worrying hint that the rising star of English cricket might already be shouldering too much of the burden, leaving Ben Stokes to hold down a mammoth workload with ball in hand.

When play began under blue skies Jason Roy gave a tantalisingly brief glimpse of what might have been, helping himself to a couple of firmly hit boundaries to set the day in motion.

The serenity lasted just under four overs, Roy following a Hazlewood delivery he might otherwise have left and feeding David Warner the first of his four catches at first slip.

Roy had made just nine, his exact average after six disappointing outings at opener – an experiment that looks increasingly close to its conclusion.

The next blow was even more grievous, Root lasting just two balls before Hazlewood fizzed one into the channel outside off and Warner tumbled to his left to take the edge. Root has now scored back-to-back ducks for the first time in his career, the worst possible advert for his recent move to number three.

It was 20 for three when Rory Burns gloved a Pat Cummins bouncer through to the wicketkeeper but the worst shot of the bunch was still to come.

Stokes, fresh from an unbeaten century last week and promoted to five, had just eight to his name when James Pattinson tossed down a harmless wide. Inexplicably Stokes dropped to one knee and stretched himself in pursuit, succeeding only in steering another chance to the welcoming hands of Warner.

Somehow Joe 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. Remarkably he would end up as top-scorer with 12, the lowest number ever to earn that distinction in an England innings.

Hazlewood and Warner combined once more before lunch, Jonny Bairstow the latest victim, leaving England 54 for six.

The scorecard made for sorry reading for England
Getty Images - Getty

Australia wasted no time in ramming home their advantage in the afternoon, pocketing the last four wickets for 13 runs. Cummins’ short ball did for Woakes and Archer with Hazlewood claiming the last recognised batsman, Jos Buttler picking out the perfectly-positioned short cover, and cleaning up last man Jack Leach.

England’s long-suffering bowlers did their best to keep up the pretence of a fight as Australia lost three for 82 before tea.

Stuart Broad’s domination of Warner continued, the left-hander lbw for duck, Leach’s first ball of the match spun sharply to castle Marcus Harris through the gate and Woakes removed Usman Khawaja for 23.

England needed things to happen in a hurry in the evening but Australia added another 89 for three in a punishing final session for Stokes.

He held down one end for 15.2 overs, interrupted only by four Archer deliveries ending in the cramp, and pounded away tirelessly for the scalps of Travis Head and Matthew Wade.

It could easily have been more, Marnus Labuschagne dropped by Root on 15, Bairstow on 42 and reprieved by Stokes’ no-ball in between. Broad removed Tim Paine for nought before the end but the visiting captain will already be visualising becoming an Ashes-winning captai

‘England are KILLING Test cricket’ – talkSPORT host Andy Jacobs hammers Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss as hosts suffer Ashes humiliation

23 Aug

talkSPORT host Andy Jacobs says Joe Root should be stripped of England captaincy and head coach Trevor Bayliss should be sacked after the hosts suffered Ashes humiliation.

On Friday afternoon, Roots men were bowled all out for just 67 runs in their first innings of day two of the third Test at Headingley.

And the Hawksbee and Jacobs host was furious, claiming this England side are ‘KILLING Test cricket’.

Fans were expectant of a good day’s cricket after Jofra Archer took SIX wickets to help bowl Australia out for 179 on the first day in Yorkshire on Thursday.

Jofra Archer was in fine form with the ball on Thursday, but was let down by his team-mates’ lack of form with the bat on day two

But Jacobs said he ‘may as well have not bothered’, as England were quickly disposed by Australia’s bowling attack in just 30 overs.

It’s England’s 12th lowest Test total in history and their lowest against Australia since the 1940s, with Joe Denly their top scorer and the only man to hit double figures with a measly 12.

In perhaps the best timing we could have hoped for at talkSPORT, England’s disastrous innings ended when Hawksbee and Jacobs were just starting the second hour of their show – and Andy’s rant is definitely worth hearing.

Grab some popcorn and listen to the talkSPORT host let rip – and it’s hard to disagree with anything he says…

“Jofra Archer has asked if it’s too late to qualify for the West Indies – what a waste of his time! He might as well not bother!

“They should round up all the pads and bats and burn them to celebrate the death of Test cricket and just for the one-day Ashes.

“This is absolutely killing Test cricket. When you pay £90 you don’t expect to see this, and it happens too often now, it’s like every innings England do this. It’s pitiful!

“If Joe Root has captain during the World Cup, England wouldn’t have won it.”

“It was really, really poor batting. I saw one decent ball – the one that got Root – but still everybody else got out! Stokes!

“There was no effort to leave the ball, everything is played at, everything hard hands at the ball and it’s not good enough.

“Bayliss has got to go after this Test match, you can’t put up with this!

“And if they’re not prepared to get rid of Bayliss and change the coaching staff, they should get rid of the selectors as well.

Andy Jacobs has called for Trevor Bayliss’s head as England coach

“This is completely unacceptable.

“To be honest, both those teams are sub-standard. The great Ashes players of the past must be spinning in their graves.

“This is such a poor standard of cricket. It’s like seeing Sunday league football being passed off as Premier League football.

“Joe Root is not a good captain. You could say that if Root has captain during the World Cup they wouldn’t have won it. There’s also a case of letting Morgan be the captain, it couldn’t be worse!

“I love cricket, but I find myself less and less interested in Test cricket because it’s a farce! It’s pitiful! Hopeless!”

Listen back to Andy Jacobs’ England cricket rant IN ALL ITS GLORY above