Rory Burns fell for a desperate six-ball duck as England’s first-innings reply got off to the worst-possible start on day two of this final Ashes Test in Hobart.
The 31-year-old, dropped after the second Test in Adelaide, was hoping to resurrect his international career when he was recalled for this match in place of Haseeb Hameed. But he was gone just 10 deliveries into the innings after being run out thanks to a direct hit from Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne.
Burns could have been out three times in the first over from Mitchell Starc before he was eventually sent on his way, lucky not to be trapped lbw after the ball pitched fractionally outside the line, escaping being bowled when he almost played on and then edging the final delivery of the over behind only for Australia not to review.
By the end of the first session, England were 34 for two after also having Zak Crawley caught on 18 at short leg off the bowling of home captain Pat Cummins.
In contrast, Australia enjoyed a fine first session, adding 62 runs for their final four wickets as they made 303 in their first innings.
That’s despite being reduced to 12 for three early on day one and 252 for eight on this second day, with Australia’s tail wagging to put England in a difficult position.
Joe Root’s team are yet to even make 300 in this series but they will have to here if they are take a first-innings lead they probably need if they are to remain in the contest.
Right now, though, with Root having trudged to the crease with his team on 29 for two, that looks like a long shot.
Wood gets some tap: Nathan Lyon took a liking to England’s bowlers when he walked to the crease with his team 252 for eight, hitting three sixes, including one from Mark Wood that was launched out of the Bellerive Oval to take the fast bowler’s runs conceded in this innings past 100. In all, Australia put on 51 for their final two wickets.
Rory is Burned yet again: Having been recalled for this final Test, Rory Burns would have hoped for better than the ninth duck for England. But that’s just what happened when he was called through by Zak Crawley for a single and saw Marnus Labuschagne strike with a direct hit as the tourists slumped to two for one 10 balls into the innings. Burns should have been out to the final ball of the first over when he edged Mitchell Starc behind but there was no appeal from Australia.