Superb bowling and brilliant catching put Australia in box seat in Adelaide

Monday, 04 December 2017, 07:52:28 PM. England enjoy a late fightback with the ball but Australia is still well-positioned to claim the honours in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, with a lead of 268 runs.

Nathan Lyon dives in the air to his left to take a one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Moeen Ali. Photo: Nathan Lyon backed up some excellent bowling with a superb catch. (AP: Rick Rycroft)

Ruthless bowling and some brilliant catching has seen Australia maintain its advantage over England on day three of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, with the tourists finishing the day 267 runs behind.

Australia went to stumps on 4-53 with Peter Handscomb (3 not out) and the nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (2 not out) at the crease after enduring a scintillating spell of swing bowling from James Anderson (2-16) which claimed the wickets of Cameron Bancroft (4) and Usman Khawaja (20).

James Anderson and Joe Root give a high ten after Anderson took a wicket. Photo: Anderson got the pink ball to sing in the final session. (AAP: Dave Hunt)

Chris Woakes (2-13) backed him up with the vital wickets of David Warner (14) and Steve Smith (6) late on to cap off a fine last session for England.

Despite Australia's first-innings lead of 215 and the altered conditions of day-night cricket, Smith decided against enforcing the follow-on when England were dismissed for 227 in reply to Australia's total of 8-442 declared.

Whether that was the right call or not, the hosts are still reasonably well-positioned to take a daunting 2-0 lead in the five-Test Ashes series, though Smith's wicket in particular will give England more than a glimmer of hope of staying in the game.

All of Australia's top-line bowlers contributed to England's first-innings demise, with Lyon and Starc the stand-outs with four and three wickets respectively.

England began the day on 1-29 and James Vince fell early to an inside edge off Hazlewood, sharply taken down the leg side by Tim Paine.

That brought together the two best batsman and leaders of the side, Joe Root and Alastair Cook, but the partnership would not last long enough to have Australia genuinely worried. Cummins had Root edging to Bancroft in the cordon and Lyon took care of Cook, who got a thick edge to a gleeful Smith at first slip.

The next three wickets were all caught and bowled, the first two of which were both brilliant in their own way.

Mitchell Starc juggles a caught and bowled to dismiss England batsman Jonny Bairstow. Photo: Starc followed up Nathan Lyon's catch with a brilliant caught and bowled of his own. (AAP: Dave Hunt)

Lyon's lithe pounce to snare Moeen Ali with his left hand for 25 will be used by the TV broadcaster to spruik fried chicken for years to come, while Starc's juggled catch to dismiss Bairstow (21) required incredible reflexes and athleticism.

Tailenders Woakes (36) and Overton put together England's best partnership of the innings, playing with a more fearless attitude than the higher-ups in the order and teaming up for 66 runs, before Woakes sent one straight up in the air off Starc's bowling, and the speedster took a much simpler C&B.

External Link: Mitchell Starc interview

Overton, batting at number nine and on debut, finished undefeated on 41 as his side's top-scorer.

Lyon ended up with figures of 4-60 and is now the leading wicket-taker in the world this year with 55 notches on his belt.

With two full days to play, Australia has the time to build on its lead on Tuesday afternoon before unleashing its in-form attack on the English batsmen again.

External Link: Second Ashes Test scorecard

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