Travis Head’s counter-attack puts Australia in control of first Ashes Test against England
Share this article:
Brisbane - Travis Head scored a superb 152 to put Australia in a commanding position over England at lunch on the third day of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on Friday.
Australia were finally dismissed for 425 in their first innings, 30 minutes before lunch, a handsome lead of 278 on the first innings.
England then survived a tricky period before the break and went to lunch 23 for no wicket, still 255 runs behind.
Rory Burns was not-out 13 and Haseeb Hameed was on 10.
Burns, who was out first ball of the series on Wednesday when clean-bowled by Mitchell Starc, was lucky to survive the dreaded pair when he was adjudged leg-before wicket on Starc's sixth ball of the first over Friday.
But after reviewing the decision, replays showed the ball was just missing the top of middle stump, and a relieved Burns survived.
Head, who was controversially selected for the Test ahead of Usman Khawaja, played a magnificent hand.
Coming in with the score at 189-3, Head then saw David Warner and Cameron Green fall in consecutive balls as England tried to stage a fightback.
But Head refused to be tied down and launched a brilliant counter attack, being particularly harsh on England's left-arm spinner Jack Leach.
After blasting the third-fastest century in Ashes history in the final session on Thursday, Head carried on where he left off on Friday morning, flashing at anything wide and attacking Leach anew.
Head played and missed a number of times, but was rewarded for his stroke play, his 152 coming from only 148 balls, including four massive sixes and 14 boundaries.
Head brought up his 150 with a pull-shot through square leg off Leach, whose Test future must surely be in doubt after going for 102 runs in his 13 overs.
England, already behind after only scoring 147 runs in their first innings, didn't help their cause with three dropped catches in the session.
Chris Woakes put down a caught-and-bowled chance, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler couldn't handle a tough caught behind off Mark Wood and Hameed grassed a chance in the deep, also off Wood's bowling.
Wood was rewarded for his consistent high pace, taking 3-85, including the wicket of Head, while Ollie Robinson was the most dangerous of the English bowlers with 3-58.
Woakes rounded out a decent effort from the three seamers with figures of 2-76.