Joe Root has weathered an eye-watering blow to the box as he dug in to stall Australia’s push for an urn-retaining victory in the fourth Ashes Test in Manchester, where England reached 2-125 at tea on day three.
Root (47 not out) and Rory Burns (62 not out) have shared an unbeaten 100-run partnership, slowly but surely chipping into Australia’s buffer after Steve Smith’s double-ton prompted Tim Paine to declare at 8-497 on day two.
Rain washed out the day’s opening session before the hosts crashed to 2-25, with Josh Hazlewood needing three deliveries at Craig Overton to dismiss the nightwatchman.
Root and Burns, who was peppered with bouncers, nullified the threat posed by Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon for the rest of the extended session.
Root was on 29 when he almost inside edged a delivery from Lyon onto the stumps then raged himself for the lapse in judgment.
Otherwise the captain was rarely flustered, with the exception of a ball from Starc that cracked his box.
There was a long delay as Root regained composure and had a new box rushed out to the middle.
Starc currently has figures of 0-41 from 11 overs.
The left-armer struggled to build dot-ball pressure on a pitch that offered the bowlers little assistance.
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