Archer sparks Australia collapse in third Test
LEEDS, England (AP):
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 reproduce the hostility and express pace he showed 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 line-up.
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 opener 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 last Saturday.
Archer caused a different kind of damage five days on, wrapping up the innings by trapping Nathan Lyon lbw for one 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.
"It's been really good so far, from the moment I've put the badge on," said Archer, who was fast-tracked into the England team ahead of the Cricket World Cup he helped his adopted country win last month.
"It's been my happiest days of cricket so far and, hopefully, plenty more ahead."
Archer took 2-59 off 29 overs in the first innings at Lord's and then 3-32 off 15 overs in the second. He missed the first Test, won by Australia at Edgbaston, because of injury.
"He's got pace and skill," Warner said. "I look at him like Dale Steyn, searching for swing and movement early on but then ramping up their speed later. That is world-class bowling and England have a great prospect."