Malan's maiden hundred put Australia on backfoot

ANI | Updated: Dec 14, 2017 16:36 IST

Perth [Australia], December 14 (ANI): English batsman Dawid Malan scored a magnificent maiden hundred as England took the honours on a riveting first day of the third Test match at the Western Australia Cricket Ground (WACA) here today.

At stumps, England were 305 for 4. The second half of the first day saw some excellent batting by Malan (110 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (75 not out).

Mitchell Starc bowled well in the morning and took 2 for 79. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood took a wicket apiece. The other bowlers looked off-colour. Spinner Nathan Lyon and pacer Mitchell Marsh did not get any wicket.

The Australian captain Steve Smith also rolled his arms over for just three overs.

Earlier, England skipper Joe Root won the third toss of the series and opted to bat first, after the Perth Test was marred by match-fixing allegations in a UK newspaper.

The visitors made a poor start to their innings, losing opener Cook cheaply for seven runs. The former Test skipper lasted just 16 balls before being trapped lbw by fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Stoneman and James Vince then steadied their side's innings by sharing a 63-run stand before the latter was dismissed for just 25 runs.

Root also did not spend much time in the crease and was dismissed for just 20 runs. Stoneman made a brilliant 56 before Starc got him to leave England tottering at 131 for 4 earlier.

However, Bairstow and Malan dug deep to form a formidable unbeaten partnership of 174 runs. They displayed a gritty batting display to make the Australian bowlers toil hard.

Australia are currently leading the five-match Ashes series 2-0 against England. They will regain the coveted urn if they win any of the final three remaining matches. (ANI)