Jofra Archer took six wickets as England’s bowlers gave their side a handy lead on the second day of the final Ashes test, reducing Australia to 225 all out in reply to their own first innings score of 294 at the Oval on Friday.
England openers Rory Burns and Joe Denly added nine runs in the fading light to extend the lead to 78 runs by the close of play for the day.
Archer took his tally for the series to 22 wickets, becoming the first England bowler to take two six-wicket hauls in an Ashes series since Ian Botham in 1981.
Left-armer Curran took two wickets in two balls on his way to a three-wicket haul and Chris Woakes claimed the prize scalp of Australian batting machine Steve Smith, who scored 80.
Batsman Marnus Labuschagne said Australia wanted to win the series outright despite their relatively poor performance on Friday.
Smith, who has scored more than twice as many runs as any other batsman in the series, underpinned the visitors’ reply with more than four hours at the crease before being trapped lbw by Woakes to record his lowest score of the series.
He built his innings cautiously, scoring nine fours and just one six, which came when he lofted a Jack Leach ball far over long on to bring up his half-century.
It was Smith’s 10th consecutive 50 against England in tests, the most in a row by any batsmen against any other nation in the longest format of the game.
In the Ashes Daily, Australian journalists Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins are following the action all around England and Wales. Their long weekly podcast The Final Word has been going for five years.
Every day, The Final Word will team up with Firstpost to bring you a new episode from wherever Geoff and Adam are on the road. On trains and buses, in pubs, on the street, in parks, on barges floating down rivers, and anywhere else that they might end up.
They are also watching an awful lot of cricket, and can summarise all the matches that you didn’t have time to see, or can bring you into the discussion about the ones you did watch.
So tune in to enjoy the coverage of one of the oldest rivalries in the history of cricket.
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The players will be in quarantine for one week. The franchise issued images of the players arriving at the team hotel.
A lot went wrong for the Chennai-based side last year but the new season brings new hope and a lot can go right for the team this time around.
The former spinner, who played 54 Tests, 62 ODIs between 1997-2006, feels any standoff with the players on the matter could have dangerous implications for England cricket.