Dashing Warner checks England advance in third Test
At tea on the second day, Australia — already in their second innings — were 73 for two, a deficit of 72 runs, with opener Warner 56 not out.
Playing in typically aggressive fashion, he took the attack to England’s bowlers with a 35-ball fifty including eight fours.
If he hadn’t yet turned the tide of the match, Warner had at least given England something to think about after they dismissed veteran opener Chris Rogers and Steven Smith to leave Australia 62 for two.
Rogers, who had top-scored with 52 in Australia’s meagre first innings 136, was lbw for six to a Stuart Broad delivery that angled in and held its line.
Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn, playing his first Test since 2013, then dismissed Smith for the second time in the match.
Smith, the world’s number one ranked Test batsman skyed an intended pull and was caught by wicket-keeper Jos Buttler for eight, having managed seven in the first innings.
Earlier, number eight Moeen Ali’s quickfire 59 helped England to 281 all out and a first-innings lead of 145.
Together with Broad (31), he put on a valuable 87 for the eighth wicket.
England were 182 for six when Birmingham-born Ali, who began his career with Edgbaston-based Warwickshire before moving to neighbouring Worcestershire, came to the crease.
Ali had been bounced out by Mitchell Johnson during the second innings of Australia’s crushing 405-run victory in the second Test at Lord’s.
But he faced down the left-arm paceman with a flurry of fours after lunch, including two well-controlled pulls, a couple of wristy straight drives and a lofted shot over cover.
Ali had struck 11 fours in all when an uppercut off Josh Hazlewood flew straight to Warner at third man.
His exit left England 278 for nine and Hazlewood soon wrapped up the innings by having last man Anderson caught behind.
Prior to Ali’s spirited effort, Johnson had given Australia a foothold in the match with two wickets — including his 300th in Tests — for no runs in three balls during his first over on Thursday after England had resumed on their overnight 133 for three
Jonny Bairstow, recalled after England dropped his Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance following their humiliation at Lord’s, exited for just five as he gloved a brute of a rising ball from Johnson to wicket-keeper Peter Nevill.
It was a fitting way for spearhead quick Johnson to become the fifth Australian after Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee, to take 300 Test wickets
Two balls later, a similar delivery saw Ben Stokes caught behind for a duck and England were 142 for five.
Root, who made a hundred in England’s 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff, regained the initiative with several boundaries
But just as Ian Bell (53) had given his wicket away when well set on Wednesday, so too did Root play a major part in his own downfall when, on 63, he chased a wide ball from left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc and edged straight to Adam Voges at first slip.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, bowling in short bursts, took three for 36 in 13 overs after dismissing England captain Alastair Cook, Bell and Buttler. -AFP