England’s hopes of a miraculous comeback in the third Ashes Test took a massive hit early on day four when Joe Root was dismissed by an outstanding catch from David Warner.
Facing Nathan Lyon, the English captain attempted to drive the spinner through the leg side, but edged the ball past wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
The ball sailed directly over Paine off the bat, but an outstretched, diving Warner did enough to hang on to his sixth catch of the match.
The wicket also saw Lyon pass Dennis Lillee on the all-time wicket taking list for Australia.
Root was out for 77, removing Australia’s biggest obstacle to a sensational victory at Headingley.
Cricket fans were left stunned by the catch, with Warner’s work in the slips arguably the difference between the two sides.
#ashes this is why TEST cricket is the pinnacle....its mentality physical technique all on the line....only the very best make it— Julian Hilaire (@julianhilaire) August 25, 2019
In the same wicket Lyon is the 3rd highest wicket taker in Australia’s history AND he may have ended Root’s Captaincy rein at the end of the #Ashes won’t forget that one anytime soon!!— Dan Helson (@HelFisher23) August 25, 2019
#Ashes All That Booing, All Summer Long. Dave Warner what catch.— BPS (@1environment1) August 25, 2019
Has anyone ever got a man of the match award just for there catching? #ashes— Ashley Couch (@couchy8) August 25, 2019
First he drops a sitter then plays a poor shot. Skipper has to be better than that.... #Ashes— Shane Warke (@Shane__Warke) August 25, 2019
The sharp catch wouldn’t have made Joe Root feel any better, after the English captain was responsible for one of three dropped catches in the slips during Australia’s second innings.
Marnus Labushagne, who was brought in for the concussed Steve Smith, was the beneficiary of each of the missed wickets.
He went on to be the cornerstone of the second innings, helping set England a record total of 359 to chase.
English frustrations compounded
While Australia were in the box seat heading into day four, Joe Root’s unbeaten 50 at stumps on day three gave many pause for thought.
His early dismissal on day four compounded the frustrations of the English side, after opener Jason Roy let loose after again giving his wicket away cheaply earlier in the day.
Roy, averaging 8.85 as a Test opener, had the opportunity to settle in ahead of England’s record run chase on Day Three of the third Test.
But his dismissal left captain Joe Root to lead the charge as England rallied at 134-2 during a hard fought Day Three contest.
Cummins produced a ball, on par with Stuart Broad’s insane delivery earlier in the Test, that many claimed was the ball of the Ashes so far.
What a delivery. Too good for Jason Roy. Completely bamboozled him😆 https://t.co/MivEAt6UM7— Akhil Sethi (@akhilsethi) August 24, 2019
This prompted Roy to scream “f**k off” when walking off the field in a clear sign of his frustration throughout the Ashes.
Roy hasn’t been able to produce his scintillating ODI form from the World Cup in the red-ball format.
His average, of 8.85, as an opener after seven innings is the second-lowest in Test history for someone who has opened at least seven times.
In fairness to Roy, Joe Denly said batting against Australia’s in-form bowling attack on Day Three was the hardest challenge so far.