Leeds, Aug 22 (AP/UNB) — Jofra Archer continued the brilliant start to his test career by taking 6-45 and sparking Australia's collapse from 136-2 to 179 all out on a stop-start opening day of the crucial third match of the Ashes series on Thursday.
Archer, English cricket's newest superstar, didn't produce the express pace he had on his test debut at Lord's in the drawn second test last week but took advantage of benign conditions for seam and swing bowling to run through Australia's creaky batting lineup.
Fill-in batsman Marnus Labuschagne delivered a fine impersonation of the absent Steve Smith, who was missed because of delayed-onset concussion, by scoring 74 and David Warner struck 61 to finally get among the runs in this Ashes after four single-figure returns. The pair put on 111 for the third wicket, a stand that saved Australia from slumping to a humiliating score at cloudy Headingley.
Only one other player — captain Tim Paine (11) — reached double figures as Smith's absence proved telling. With 378 runs from three innings, Smith has been a thorn in England's side but he missed out because of the effects of being struck on the neck by a delivery from Archer on Saturday.
Archer caused a different kind of damage five days on, wrapping up the innings by trapping Nathan Lyon lbw for 1 off what proved to be the last ball of the day. That completed Australia's implosion, the tourists losing their last eight wickets for 43 runs.
About three hours of play was lost to rain, while the teams also went off for bad light midway through the afternoon — prompting boos from spectators because the floodlights were on — on a changeable day of weather in northern England.