Ashes 2017-18: Chris Woakes and Craig Overton put England on top


Chris Woakes has played just one Test against Australia
Tour match, Adelaide (day three of four):
England 293 & 207 (67.4 overs): Bairstow 61*, Stoneman 51, Milenko 5-34
Cricket Australia XI 233-9 dec & 70-7 (33 overs): Woakes 4-17, Overton 2-10
Cricket Australia XI chasing 268 to win

England’s bowlers found form on the third day of their floodlit warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.

Chris Woakes took four wickets and uncapped Craig Overton 2-10 as the tourists closed in on a big victory.

The invitational team finished on 70-7 after being reduced to 25-7 in their pursuit of 268 to win.

Jonny Bairstow (61*) and Mark Stoneman (51) made half-centuries as England posted 207 in their second innings.

Cook continues to concern

While Joe Root’s side look set for a resounding victory on the fourth and final day, they will be concerned at the struggles of former captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order.

The left-hander failed to find any fluency in a painstaking innings of 32, which took his tally since mid-August to just 108 runs in seven innings.

He survived a couple of close calls before he was caught behind off the medium pace of Simon Milenko.

England also suffered a middle-order collapse of four wickets for three runs once the pink ball started to zip around under the floodlights, but a run-a-ball 61 from Bairstow ensured the tourists set a stiff target for their inexperienced hosts.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann was at the Adelaide Oval on day three to check on England’s progress

Woakes was particularly impressive in removing the CA XI’s top four for single-figure scores.

Overton bowled home captain Tim Paine on the defence as he staked his claim for a starting place for the first Test at the Gabba on 23 November, before James Anderson struck to make it 25-7.

However, Matt Short and Gurinder Sandhu provided some lower-order resistance to take the game into a fourth day against an England attack without the injured Jake Ball.

All-rounder Moeen Ali is missing the match because of a side injury.

Anderson impressed with Overton

Overton, second left, is a twin – his brother Jamie also plays for Somerset

Somerset bowler Overton could make his debut in the first Test in Brisbane after Steven Finn returned home with injury and Jake Ball limped off the field in the first innings of this tour game.

Ball will have a scan on his right ankle in the next few days, and Overton, 23, pressed his claims with an impressive display of fast bowling.

Anderson, who is England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, said: “I’ve been very impressed with Craig. He’s a big lad, gets plenty of bounce and he’s very skilful too.

“He can swing the ball, seam the ball and he brings something different to the team. He’s settled in really well.”

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