Perth - Dawid Malan said it was time for England to pile the
pressure on Australia after his maiden Test century helped the besieged
visitors fight back on the opening day of the vital third Ashes Test in Perth
After Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, Malan's
unbeaten 110 helped the tourists to breathe life back into their Ashes defence
by countering hostile Australian bowling on a bouncy wicket at the WACA Ground,
which is hosting an Ashes Test for the last time.
At stumps, the visitors were 305 for four after their best
day of the series, and Malan said the challenge for England was to grasp their
"We've just not capitalised on the crucial
moments," Malan said of the series thus far.
"The first hour tomorrow is crucial for us and if we
give them any sniff with the second new ball, we will give the momentum right
back to them," he added.
"We will have to be quite ruthless in the way we play
As one of the players identified as suspect going into the
series and after failing to get a big score in the first two Tests, Malan said
he was relieved to get the monkey off his back.
"I was under a bit of pressure coming into the game so
it was nice to score some runs," he said.
"It was nice to do it when the team needed it and cash
in when I made a start"
Malan admitted it was tough when he came to the crease
against the rampaging Australian fast bowlers, but said he enjoyed the
Already down 2-0 in the five-match series, the visitors were
wavering at 131 for four against some fiery pace bowling after lunch, but Malan
steadied the innings with an unbroken 174-run stand for the fifth wicket
alongside Jonny Bairstow (75 not out), England's highest partnership of the series.
England overcame the controversial dismissal of opener Mark
Stoneman for 56 on a third-umpire decision, and their cause was helped by some
generosity from the Australian fielders, who dropped three catches and missed a
Malan was one of the chief beneficiaries as the 30-year-old
notched his first century in his eighth Test, and England's first hundred of
He would have been run out for 32 had David Warner managed a
direct hit, and was dropped by Cameron Bancroft in the slips on 92.
He steadied his nerves to reach a century with a powerful
pull shot off Josh Hazlewood, having faced 159 balls in 221 minutes at the
crease, hitting 13 fours and one six.
Malan came to bat with England under pressure against
short-pitched bowling from Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who
terrorised the tourists with aggressive bowling that was often more than 145
kilometres per hour.
Stoneman was dropped twice on 52 and struck on his helmet by
a fierce delivery while on the same score.
He survived all that, only to be contentiously given out for
The opener fended at a sharply-rising delivery from Starc
and wicketkeeper Tim Paine pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch, but
on-field umpire Marais Erasmus turned down the Australian appeal.
The hosts called for a review and third umpire Aleem Dar took
little time overturning the original decision, although there did not appear to
be any conclusive evidence to support the reversal.
The decision clearly upset the England camp, with Root and
fielding coach Paul Collingwood coming out of the dressing rooms to voice their
concern as Stoneman trudged off.
Unfortunately for England, former skipper Alastair Cook's
form woes continued when he was trapped leg before wicket by Starc for just
seven, on his landmark 150th Test appearance.
Cook has more than 11 000 Test runs, but the former England
skipper has scored just 69 in this series at 13.80.