Australia battle at Edgbaston

2015-07-29 14:22
Steven Finn (Gallo)

Birmingham - England fast bowler Steven Finn marked his first Test appearance in since 2013 with two key wickets as Chris Rogers held firm for Australia in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

At lunch, Australia were 72 for three in 19 overs after rain stopped play for 29 minutes midway through the session.

Rogers, given the all clear following the dizzy spell at Lord's that forced him off the field on the last day of Australia's crushing 405-run win in the second Test which levelled the five-match series at 1-1, was 35 not out and Adam Voges unbeaten on 12.

Finn, selected after Durham quick Mark Wood was ruled out with ankle trouble, took two for two in nine balls including the prize wickets of Steven Smith and Michael Clarke.

Australia captain Clarke opted to bat first on winning the toss despite overcast conditions and a livelier pitch promising more assistance for the seamers.

James Anderson, England's most successful Test bowler but wicketless at Lord's on a pitch with no sideways movement, needed a mere eight balls to take his 407th Test wicket when he had David Warner, Rogers's fellow left-handed opener, lbw for two.

Rogers's dizzy spell was attributed to a balance problem in the inner ear caused as a result of being struck on the helmet by an Anderson bouncer during the course of his Test-best 173 in Australia's first innings at Lord's.

But when Stuart Broad bowled a 'loopy' bouncer at the 37-year-old, Rogers - who missed Australia's recent 2-0 Test series win in the Caribbean with a concussion suffered while batting in the nets, pulled him for four.

Rogers, however, could only watch as Finn - whom he captained at Middlesex - enjoyed a dramatic return to the Test arena after coming on as first-change.

The 26-year-old, playing his first Test since the 2013 Ashes opener at Trent Bridge after losing his action and being deemed "unselectable" as England suffered a 5-0 series thrashing in Australia in 2013/14, struck with the sixth ball of his first over on Wednesday.

Smith, the world's number one ranked Test batsman following his Test-best 215 at Lord's, was squared by a good length ball he edged low to England captain Alastair Cook at first slip.

Smith was out for seven and Australia were 18 for two in exactly eight overs.

Finn then clean bowled Clarke, now with two hundreds in his last 27 Test innings, with an excellent yorker for just 10.

Read more on:    australia  |  ashes  |  chris rogers  |  cricket

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