Australia are inching towards a series-clinching victory in Melbourne after reducing England 31/4 in the second innings at the end of Day 2 stumps, thanks to Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland. England are still 51 runs behind and face an uphill task to save this Test match and keep their hopes alive in the series. Earlier, England had an upper hand in the morning with James Anderson and Ollie Robinson wreaking havoc including the wickets of Steve Smith and Marcus Harris. However, crucial knocks from Pat Cummins and Starc down the order helped Australia cross the 250-run mark. Australia lead the series 2-0 winning in Brisbane and Adelaide. Get here highlights of AUS vs ENG Boxing Day Test.
13:13 PM IST: Stumps
England end the day on 31/4. Joe Root and Ben Stokes remain unbeaten on 12 and 2 respectively.
13:01 PM IST: AUS on top
Australia are once again at the top in this Test match. After taking an 82-run lead, Micthell Starc and Scott Boland have taken four wickets to leave England in tatters. England 22/4, still trail by 60 runs.
11:52 AM IST: Australia all out for 267
Australia are all out for 267 taking a lead of 82 runs. Scott Boland was the last player out for the hosts. Mark Wood took the wicket.
11:45 AM IST: AUS extend lead
James Anderson takes his fourth wicket of the match dismissing Pat Cummins, caught by Haseeb Hameed for 21. Australia 253/9, lead by 68 runs.
Australia are eight down for 219. Ben Stokes gets Alex Carey for 19, caught behind by Jos Buttler behind the stumps. Australia lead by 34 runs. Earlier, Australia lost Cameron Green, LBW by Jack Leach.
10:21 AM IST: Tea
Alex Carey and Cameron Green take Australia past the 200-run mark. Tea has been announced.
10:04 PM IST: AUS in lead
Australia take the lead. Alex Carey (4*) and Cameron Green (12*) are in the middle. Australia 195/6, lead by 10 runs
9:32 AM IST: Harris departs
James Anderson is on a roll today. The veteran pacer dismisses Marcus Harris, caught by Joe Root at the first slip. Harris goes for 76. Australia 180/6, trail by 5 runs
9:11 AM IST: Robinson strikes
Ollie Robinson breaks the partnership. Travis Head tries a backfoot punch, gets the edge straight to Joe Root at first slip who makes no mistake. Head departs for 27. Australia 172/5, still trail by 13 runs.
8:27 AM IST: Fifty for Marcus
Fifty for Marcus Harris. First for the Australian opener in Ashes. Australia 153/4. Harris is batting on 60 and Travis Head is unbeaten on 21.
8:00 AM IST: Covid-19 scare
The start of Day 2 was delayed after a Covid-19 scare in the visiting camp. However, all the players were cleared to play after negative tests. "Our players have been given the all clear to play today and have arrived at the ground,” England Cricket tweeted.
7:43 AM IST: Day 2 lunch
It has been England's session. Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was the first one to go. Mark Wood then accounted for Marnus Labuschagne before Steve Smith was clean bowled by James Anderson. Opener Marcus Harris is batting on 48. Australia 131/4, still trail by 54 runs.
After missing the day-night Test at Adelaide due to COVID issues, Pat Cummins (3 for 36) made an impressive return to Ashes as Australia looked good to take a commanding grip on the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Cummins, who took his 100th Test wicket at home, and off-spinner Nathan Lyon (3 for 36) wrecked the England batting that suffered due to an acute lack of application in a game they must at least draw to keep the Ashes alive.
Joe Root set a new record of most runs by a captain in a calendar year during his 50-run knock in England’s first innings but not a single top-order batsman managed to play a long innings as Australia's bowlers got wickets at regular intervals.
England’s resistance with the bat lasted just 65.1 overs. A loose shot outside off stump by Root, a questionable cut by Ben Stokes, and a wild heave by Jos Buttler made for another difficult day for the tourists, who trail two-nil in the five-match series.