BRISBANE, Nov 25 (Reuters) - England’s veteran pacemen blasted through Australia’s middle order to reduce the hosts to 213 for seven at lunch on day three of the series-opening Ashes test on Saturday.
A fired-up Stuart Broad captured two wickets, most importantly breaking a 99-run stand between captain Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh, and fellow seamer James Anderson chipped in with another.
Smith, who rescued his team from a position of peril at 76 for four late on day two, remained unbowed on 81, with tail-ender Pat Cummins hanging on grimly at the other end with two runs to his name.
The home side, who had resumed on 165 for four on a muggy, overcast morning at the Gabba, were still 89 runs adrift of England’s first innings total of 302.
Having shown impressive resolve after tea on day two to support his captain, Marsh lasted five overs in the morning before being dismissed softly for 51 by a slower delivery from Broad, which he spooned straight to Anderson at mid-off.
Tim Paine, who replaced Matthew Wade in part due to his better form with the bat, managed 13 in a 42-ball knock before departing with a nick behind off Anderson with the fourth delivery of the new ball.
Jonny Bairstow dived to his right to glove a sharp one-handed catch and remove his fellow keeper, leaving Australia wobbling at 202 for six.
Tail-end slogger Mitchell Starc came to the crease and got off the mark with a six from the third ball he faced, smashing Broad over the long-off rope to leave the Englishman smiling wryly.
Broad turned the tables on his fellow quick two balls later, however, inducing a leading edge from the Australian and taking the catch himself.
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