England’s hearts have been broken during the Saturday’s play of the third Ashes Test Match at the WACA. A blistering century from Adam Gilchrist in 57 balls had rubbed salt on the English wounds. The tourists are now left to save two complete days with an almost impossible target of 557. They have already lost the wicket of Andrew Strauss in the six overs bowled in their second innings before stumps. The Ashes is most certainly getting wrapped up by Australia 3-0 and the only thing that can save England is a miracle.
Coming into the third day’s play, Australia were already onto a solid platform to bat out England out of the Ashes having resumed at 119 for 1, a lead of 148. The world’s best team consists of players who grab whatever opportunity that comes their way in winning games and that’s what they had started to do so after bowling out their opposition for 229. By lunch on the third day’s play, Australia scored another 110 runs losing just the overnight batsmen Hayden and Ponting. Hayden was unlucky not to get his first hundred of his series as he fell short of it by 8 runs. Ponting who was the first to be dismissed had added up just 18 runs today. Young guns Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke batted on an on for a 151-run partnership that stretched the lead to 386. Hussey was the third wicket to go down but not before he had scored his 5th Test match hundred in just his 14th match.
Adam Gilchrist came to the party today, he got his fifty in 40 balls but the next 17 balls he smashed another 50 runs. His century in 57 balls is now the second fastest century which fell short by just one ball in equaling the Viv Richards’ record at the Antigua Recreation Ground. Gilchrist had smashed 24 in an over from the bowler who had dismissed him in the first essay for a duck, Monty Panesar who was taken for three sixes. Ponting had decided to declare at 527 for 5, leaving an awkward time for the English batsmen to negotiate before close. Michael Clarke remained unbeaten on 135 while Gilchrist was on 102 which had come in 59 balls with a dozen boundaries and four sixes. Monty Panesar was taken apart for 145 runs in 34 overs but he had finished the match with 8 wickets, not a bad effort at all by any means!
Already pulverized by three centuries from the opposition batsmen in a single day, England lost their dependable batsman, Andrew Strauss in just the fourth delivery of the innings. Strauss had paid penalty for shouldering arms to a Brett Lee inswinger that could have gone over the top of the stumps. So Strauss for the second time in this match sent back to the pavilion due to an unlucky decision.