England captain Joe Root frustrates Australia in Ashes as Three Lions still believe | Cricket | Sport


England gave themselves a glimmer of hope of winning the third Ashes Test as they closed day three needing a further 203 runs to win.

The Three Lions crumbled on Friday, being dismissed for 67, in a Test they can’t afford to lose if they are to retain the Ashes.

Australia built up a lead of 358 with the tourists all out on Saturday morning.

Openers Rory Burns and Jason Roy fell cheaply but Joe Root and Joe Denly got England back into the game.

The 126-run partnership between skipper Root and Denly was at the heart of England’s fightback and Denly says the dressing room is full of optimism.

“There is a lot of belief in the changing room and excitement about the situation,” he said.

“Absolutely we think we can win the game. It’s all about winning and the belief has to be there.

“We are not getting too far head of ourselves, though. It will be a tricky period when the new ball is taken in the morning but if we get through that we will be in a great position.


“I wasn’t part of the World Cup victory, but I do know that with the team we have we can win games from any position. We have some very dangerous and experienced players.”

Root ended the day unbeaten on 75 though Denly had been dismissed for 50, gloving a short Josh Hazlewood ball behind.

And Denly is confident England can give the Headingley crowd something to cheer on Sunday.

“We understood the crowd’s disappointment about the first innings and we talked about having the fight and character to do better,” the batsman added.

“Any time Joe Root is scoring runs it puts belief in the side. We feed off that.

“It was tough today, they were very aggressive in the way they bowled. It’s some of he hardest batting I’ve had to do. You had to earn the right to score runs.

“I tried to build a partnership with Rooty. It was obviously a tricky start for us but we were pleased to get a partnership and end the day in a reasonably good position.

“You have to show character in tricky situations. Getting through against a very good bowling attack there will be ebbs and flows. We had to battle hard for the runs and show a bit of grit.

“It’s never ideal being bowled out for 67. We know that wasn’t good enough.

“We had to show fight and character in the second innings and make them work hard for their wickets. We wanted them to come back for second and third spells.”

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