Friday, 07 January 2022 11:40

Jonny Bairstow scores ton as England show fight in Sydney.

Staff Reporter.

Jonny Bairstow scored a gutsy century as England's batters finally showed some fight against Australia on day three of the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney.

Bairstow's well-crafted, unbeaten 103 and his 128-run stand with Ben Stokes rescued England after they slipped to 36-4.

Stokes, visibly struggling with a left side injury, made 66, while Mark Wood clubbed an entertaining 39 from 41 balls in a 72-run stand with Bairstow.

Scott Boland took 2-25 as England closed on 258-7, trailing by 158.

Play had been delayed by two hours because of persistent rain at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and England made an poor start when the match resumed.

They lost three wickets in 53 balls and could not find a run before Bairstow and Stokes injected some much-needed impetus into the innings.

The two were able to dominant Australia's bowlers in a way that England have failed to do throughout the series.

Australia dropped three catches and have an injury concern over Boland, who was taken for a scan after falling in his follow-through in the afternoon session.

While England are still a long way behind in the match, the fight they showed will have been encouraging for the beleaguered dressing room.

England batter Jonny Bairstow, speaking to Test Match Special: "I was relieved and overjoyed, to be honest with you. I'm happy with today but we need to build on it tomorrow as well.

"My thumb is sore, but you're playing in the Ashes and you're going to take blows. It's going to take a lot to remove me from things. I might get an X-ray on it but I reckon I'll still be there in the morning."

Australia batter Steve Smith: "We're still in a good position, even though there is some uncertainty around the weather. I thought it was a good counter-attack from Stokes and Bairstow.

"The pitch is doing more with the new ball. When the ball gets soft, it's not playing as many tricks."