Dashing Warner checks England advance in third Ashes Test

Birmingham, July 30

David Warner's dashing unbeaten fifty kept Australia clinging on in the third Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston on Thursday.

At tea on the second day, Australia -- already in their second innings -- were 73-2, a deficit of 72 runs, with opener Warner 56 not out. Playing in typically aggressive fashion, he took the attack to England's bowlers with a 35-ball fifty including eight fours. If he hadn't yet turned the tide of the match, Warner had at least given England something to think about after they dismissed Chris Rogers and Steven Smith to leave Australia 62-2.

Rogers was lbw for six to a Stuart Broad delivery that angled in and held its line. Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn then dismissed Smith for the second time in the match. Smith having managed seven in the first innings.

Earlier, number eight Moeen Ali's quickfire 59 helped England to 281 all out and a first-innings lead of 145. Together with Broad (31), he put on a valuable 87 for the eighth wicket. England were 182-6 when Birmingham-born Ali, who began his career with Edgbaston-based Warwickshire before moving to neighbouring Worcestershire, came to the crease. Ali had been bounced out by Mitchell Johnson during the second innings of Australia's crushing 405-run victory in the second Test at Lord's. But he faced down the left-arm paceman with a flurry of fours after lunch, including two well-controlled pulls, a couple of wristy straight drives and a lofted shot over cover.

Ali had struck 11 fours in all when an uppercut off Josh Hazlewood flew straight to Warner at third man. His exit left England 278-9 and Hazlewood soon wrapped up the innings by having last man Anderson caught behind. Prior to Ali's spirited effort, Johnson had given Australia a foothold in the match with two wickets -- including his 300th in Tests -- for no runs in three balls during his first over on Thursday after England had resumed on their overnight 133-3. Jonny Bairstow, recalled after England dropped his teammate Gary Ballance following their humiliation at Lord's, exited for just five as he gloved a brute of a rising ball from Johnson to wicket-keeper Peter Nevill.