England’s openers falter again as Rory Burns run out for a duck

Rory Burns ran out of duck in his call as England’s opener once again failed to face Australia in the Ashes Final in Hobart.

Burns was dropped two games ago, only to be sidelined because Hasib Hamid worried more, and things could hardly have gone wrong on his return.

The Australian Tourists took the final four for 62 in the first round to knock out the hosts for 303, earning the best conditions for the match so far as they began their response under blue skies.

But they were 34 at lunch as their third mating of the series continued an unhappy trend of failures.

Mark Wood snapped share Mitchell Stark and Pat Cummins (Darren England via AAP/PA)

(PA Media)

Burns, who is in the process of tweaking his technique, had three embarrassing moments in his first time out of Mitchell Stark – a lbw resume, a swerve after stumps and a close call to stand behind that which UltraEdge suggested might be out.

Having survived that scorching start, Zach Crowley called him up for a single Risky. It was an unnecessary gamble and when the two men faltered uncertainly, an opportunity opened up for Marnus Labuchagne to pounce from the cover.

He duly tossed his trunks, leaving Burns a short home run and contemplating his goalless eighth innings on 22 attempts. Perhaps diving saved him, but there was no real sense of despair and on his way he hardly made any impression.

Crowley had some action to do and helped himself to hit three limits on a typically firm start. But it was a cameo as his team needed a clinic. Pat Cummins was careful not to see him for the session, as he launched an expertly set trap with a longitudinal ball at the back that bounced inside and hit the inside edge.

A deviation from the thigh pad followed and Travis Head took the chance in the second try under the helmet at the short leg.

Nathan Leon Wood hit for three sixes in a four-ball space (Darren England via AAP/PA)

(PA Media)

This left Joe Root curled up in an all-too-familiar crisp, but he negotiated eight balls before resting alongside Dawid Malan. The latter managed to get some loose shots early in his stay but he started to catch the job.

Earlier, England had ended Australia’s resistance. Mark Wood went wall-to-wall guards and picked up Starc and Cummins where they missed drag strikes. Nathan Lyon was up to the challenge, though, hitting the tailor at 90 mph for three six-balls in a four-ball space.

Chris Woks had Alex Curry play for 24, before Stewart Broad finished things off by bowling Leon for a 31-on hand.

Once again, England were unable to contact Ole Robinson due to a back spasm – a problem that has caused bowling coach John Lewis to make a public call for improved fitness standards.

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