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Warner takes control

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David Warner’s batting blitz capped off an amazing day for Australia as England’s grip on the Ashes loosened even further on Sunday.

Australia reached 3-235 at stumps on day three in the third Test at the WACA Ground to hold an overall lead of 369 runs.

Ahead 2-0 in the five-match series, Australia could be just a day or two away from reclaiming the urn.

Live scores here.

Warner hit 112 off 140 balls, sharing a 157-run opening stand with Chris Rogers (54).

“I don’t think we could be in a better position,” Rogers said.

“Today was an amazing day. Probably as good a day as we’ve had in the Ashes so far.”

Warner, who’s averaging 91.40 in the series including two hundreds, struck 17 fours and two sixes.

“He makes me look a bit stupid at times,” said Rogers, whose 54 came off a more sedate 135 deliveries.

“It’s not that easy out there, so for him to be playing the way he is I don’t think anyone can play as well as he is at the moment.

“It’s unbelievable and takes the pressure off me.”

England’s pace spearhead Stuart Broad didn’t bowl on Sunday after he was struck on the right foot by Mitchell Johnson when dismissed lbw. Broad says he hopes to bat if required and insists his Ashes series is not necessarily over yet.

But Rogers, when asked if England’s spirits seemed to be fading in the field, said maybe that was the case.

“The heat and being so far behind, it takes its toll,” Rogers said.

“It’s almost they realised perhaps that a victory is out of their grasp.

“From there you get a bit defensive and someone like Davey is going to take advantage of that.”

Rogers says the cracks in the WACA pitch will make it tough for England to chase a big total.

“If these cracks keep widening, then it’s going to be very hard to bat on, and a little bit scary,” he said.

England’s Matt Prior missed stumping chances when Warner was on 13 and 89 and Rogers was dropped at slip on 26 when Prior failed to attempt the catch.

Earlier, Australia’s pace attack exploited the cracks in the pitch to mess with England’s psyche and bowl the tourists out for 251 at lunch.

England had resumed on 4-180 and lost 6-51 in reply to Australia’s 385.

Ryan Harris (3-48) and Peter Siddle (3-36) complemented the brutal pace assault from left-armer Johnson (2-62).

 

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