Sydney - England skipper Joe Root again missed out on an
elusive first century in the series as Australia fought back with two late
wickets on the opening day of the fifth Test on Thursday.
As it happened: Australia v England, 5th Test - Day 1
Root was out to a superb diving catch by Mitchell Marsh at
square leg for 83 in the day's penultimate over before Jonny Bairstow was
caught behind in the final over.
Root slumped to his haunches in dismay after missing out on
a hundred following his fourth half-century of the series.
Root and Malan recovered England's first innings with a
133-run stand after the tourists had slumped to 95 for three following the loss
of Melbourne double-centurion Alastair Cook.
Malan lived a charmed life in his half-century, surviving a
run out attempt and a dropped Steve Smith catch to provide stoic support for
At the close, England were 233 for five with Malan left
unbeaten on 55 off 160 balls when Bairstow was caught behind off Josh Hazlewood
Root reached his half-century off 82 balls cover driving
Mitchell Marsh for four, but Malan was fortunate not to be run out two balls
Malan, on 28, cut towards backward point and there was
confusion over the run with Root steaming down the pitch and Malan stuttering
and then setting off for the non-striker's end.
But the throw from wicketkeeper Tim Paine was off target and
bowler Nathan Lyon was unable to effect the run out with Malan well out of his
Malan had another life on 34 when Smith dropped a sharp
ankle-high chance at slip off Lyon.
Only last week in Melbourne Smith put down two catches in
Alastair Cook's unbeaten double century.
Cook, who carried his bat through the England first innings
in the fourth Test for an unbeaten 244, looked on his way to another big score
until Josh Hazlewood struck in the 33rd over.
Hazlewood's leg before wicket appeal was turned down
on-field, but on review the ball was found to be just pitching in line with the
left-hander's leg stump and hitting middle and Cook was given out for 39 off
It was the third time in the series Cook has fallen lbw and
it left him just five runs short of 12 000 career Test runs in his 152nd Test
Fellow opener Mark Stoneman earlier hit some nice drives
among his four fours before he nicked a rising Pat Cummins delivery to Tim
Paine for 24 off 24 balls in the 10th over.
James Vince looked set after 82 minutes at the crease before
he shaped for a square cut at a wide Cummins delivery only to be caught behind
for 25 in the 29th over.
Usman Khawaja jarred his left knee as he carved out a large
chunk of topsoil in sliding to prevent a boundary off Malan in the 56th over
but returned to the field later.
Australia have already clinched the Ashes with an
unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.
England are bidding to break through in Sydney, where they
have won twice in the last four Ashes Tests.
After a rain delay and an early lunch, play finally got
under way at 03:40.