England have first-innings lead of 145

Moeen Ali struck back against Mitchell Johnson at Edgbaston, hammering home England’s advantage in the third Ashes Test.


Ali put on a 87-run stand with Stuart Broad on day two in Birmingham, boosting England’s first-innings lead to 145 runs.

Josh Hazlewood dismissed the pair in the space of four balls as England were bowled out for 281.

Ali, who looked scratchy in the morning session, scored 36 runs off 33 balls after lunch.

The allrounder was particularly aggressive against Johnson, whose three-over spell in the second session went for 27 runs.

Ali was embarrassed by a Johnson bouncer in the second Test, where Australia stormed to a 405-run win at Lord’s.

Johnson looked similarly potent on Thursday, but this time Ali helped himself to six boundaries off the left-armer.

Johnson had spearheaded an Australian comeback by dismissing Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes in a sensational opening over, both men gloving bouncers to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.

England held a six-run lead at that point and were somewhat vulnerable at 5-142.

Joe Root’s 63 and Ali’s 59 ensured the hosts remained in the box seat to go 2-1 up in the five-Test series after skittling the tourists for 136 on day one.

There was a heightened sense of tension at the ground throughout Johnson’s first spell of four overs.

The left-armer troubled Root and Jos Buttler, but couldn’t force another breakthrough after grabbing his 300th and 301st Test wickets.

Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Mitch Marsh all failed to bowl with the same control as Johnson.

Starc was particularly erratic, but managed to remove Root with a wide ball that the in-form batsman reached at and edged to Adam Voges at first slip.

Buttler was out for a nervous nine as England crashed to 7-190 and Nathan Lyon made it three wickets from three overs.

Ali and Broad made it to the meal break then unleashed against Lyon and Johnson, with Broad scoring 31.

Marsh claimed a catch at mid-on to dismiss Broad, while Ali picked out David Warner at third man.