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England saw a brilliant start slip through their fingers in the final Ashes Test, with Travis Head’s exceptional century and an injury to Ollie Robinson changing the momentum in Hobart.

Joe Root won the toss under gloomy skies in the day / night clash and his decision to put the Australians first seemed to pay off when they reduced their opponents to 12 for three.

But Head marked his return from a Covid-19 fight with a game-changing 101 of 113 deliveries – turning a perilous position into a strains score of 241 for six. When the rain brought play to a halt in the last session, in part due to concerns over the bowlers’ swing, it was England who were happiest heading to the pavilion.

Head shared positions of 71 and 121 with Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green respectively, timing the ball wonderfully as he embarked on a bowling attack stretched by fitness issues.

With all-rounder Ben Stokes already unable to play with lateral tension, England had bet on a four-man attack and saw their nightmare scenario unfold as Robinson came to a halt with a low back problem just one in the second session.

With wicket record holder James Anderson missing due to a few issues, it meant a heavy workload for Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. Of the three, only Broad was truly credited, with Woakes and Wood being treated brutally, especially by Head, and leaking leads at an alarming rate. As Robinson returned to the field but was unable to contribute, Root was forced to deliver 10 overs of his own part-time off-spin.

England have granted wicket keeper Sam Billings his debut for a side showing five changes from the XI which was eliminated in a draw in Sydney last week. Billings became the 700th man to win a test cap and was joined by Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, Robinson and Woakes in a refreshed squad for both fitness and fitness reasons.

Bellerive Oval fans had to wait an extra half hour for their very first taste of Ashes cricket due to the afternoon showers, then were faced with the unusual sight of England on a roll .

There were few periods of visitor domination in a one-sided series, but Root called the draw correctly, took advantage of the gloomy overheads, and watched Robinson and Broad make inroads.

For the first time in 91 tests together, Australian duo David Warner and Steve Smith put ducks in the same innings, Robinson teasing them in the channel outside the stump and Zak Crawley hanging on to a few catches in the second. slip.

Broad also dealt a blow, with Usman Khawaja continuing his two centuries in Sydney with a less flattering score of six. There was only one fault on the English account but it was costly.

Crawley’s enthusiasm got the better of him when Labuschagne pulled off his second Robinson delivery, with Kent’s man diving to his left and groping the ball on the ground. Root expected something quite simpler at first glance.

Labuschagne treated his second life like a free kick as he generously swung the bat and aspired to nine limits. Woakes and Wood paid the price and Head was encouraged to follow the same aggressive vein.

The curiosity of a Labuschagne round ended in a bizarre fashion before the first break.
Rushing well outside to open the side of the leg, he left his stumps desperately unprotected and was in the wrong zip code when Broad knocked down the middle. Labuschagne (44) lost part of his dignity as well as his wicket, falling face down after putting his footwork in a terrible tangle.

If that moment brought England’s smile back to 83 for four, it was quickly erased again. Robinson kicked off the evening’s play but was visibly strenuous, diving to 70 mph before leaving for the evaluation. He returned to the field but not to the attack, his absence compromising England for the rest of the day.

Australia racked up 130 runs over the next two hours, Head unstoppable until he reached his century, then offered Woakes his wicket on the next ball. Green took over, making 74 before turning Wood into a deep midwicket after a bouncer dam. England were tired by then and profited the most from the referees’ hasty decision to call the covers.


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