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Moeen, Crawley steady England

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Zak Crawley

England took the first day’s momentum forward into the second day with a clinical show in the morning session in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester yesterday.

The hosts were off to the perfect start in the session with James Anderson removing Pat Cummins off the very first ball of the day.

The Australian Captain drove lazily and found his English counterpart to perfection at cover.

The innings should have ended soon when Josh Hazlewood nicked one off Chris Woakes to second slip, only for the English pacer to overstep.

Mitchell Starc, who had watched all this unfold at the other end, played a handy knock himself and added some valuable runs for the last wicket with Hazlewood.

Woakes wasn’t to be denied though as he eventually got his maiden Ashes fifer, removing Hazlewood in near identical fashion to the no-ball fiasco earlier on.

High on confidence from his batting exploits, Starc gave Australia the much-needed early breakthrough when he had Ben Duckett nicking through to Alex Carey in just the third over of the innings.

However, Zak Crawley managed to stitch an unbroken stand with England’s makeshift number three Moeen Ali to ensure that the home side held the advantage at the lunch break.

Chief scores:

Australia: 317 (David Warner 32, Marnus Labuschagne 51, Steven Smith 41, Travis Head 48, Mitchell Marsh 51, Alex Carey 20, Mitchell Starc 36 n.o, Stuart Broad 2/68, Chris Woakes 5/62)

England: 61/1 at lunch (Zak Crawley 26 n.o, Moeen Ali 31 n.o). C.D

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