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Ponting fumes at Cummins as Aussies wilt

Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of day three of the Fifth Ashes Test.

England began running away with the match during a blistering opening session as Zak Crawley dominated the Aussies again.

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Australia’s plans in the first hour left Ricky Ponting fuming in the commentary box as the Poms scored devastatingly quickly.

10pm – Ponting fumes at Cummins as Aussies wilt

If only Ricky Ponting was coaching instead of commentating.

The cricket legend sounded frustrated enough to hang up his microphone and join the Aussie huddle as the visitors appeared to throw away any chance of winning the series during a horror morning at The Oval.

England was 1/130 from 25 overs at lunch, with Zak Crawley (71 not out from 73 balls) continuing on the sparkling early work of Ben Duckett (42 from 55).

Ponting was questioning Australia’s approach almost immediately as the new ball was handed to Mitchell Starc instead of Pat Cummins.

England took 13 overs from Starc’s first over and the initiative was lost.

“It would be better for Cummins to be bowling at that end with the brand new ball,” Ponting said.

“It was Cummins who changed things in the first innings. With the sun out – Mitchell Starc relies on swing – there’s not going to be any swing out there so he can leak runs like what is happening now.”

His blood started boiling further as Ben Duckett hit boundary after boundary to an unprotected leg side.

“That’s now five boundaries for Duckett. All leg side. And four of them from midwicket to backward square. They have not had one man out there,” he said.

As a co-commentator suggested he was “about to explode” and Nasser Hussain began to laugh, Ponting kept firing shots.

“Nass, can you please stop laughing! I have my earpiece in that ear to try and block you out. I can still hear you giggling away!” he said.

“I’m not about to explode. I would just like to see things change up a little. Just a little! Execute better. Bowl the right line and length. Or at least get your fielders where the ball is going to go.”

Hussain also couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “Australia were very poor with the new ball,” he said.

“For such an experienced attack of Hazlewood, Cummins, Starc, they bowled both sides of the wicket.

“Everyone in world cricket knows where to bowl to Zak Crawley. It wasn’t like the information Ricky Ponting was giving on commentary was something ‘wow’ and deep insight. You bowl fifth stump, back of a length to Zak Crawley.

“They bowled on his pads, they bowled both sides of the wicket and they got it wrong and now they’re playing catch-up cricket and have upset Ricky Ponting.”

9.30pm – Starc finally gets the breakthrough

Ben Duckett is on his way back to the sheds after the faintest of edges brought an end to his stellar innings.

Mitchell Starc got a delivery to move just enough away from the English opener and it caught the edge of his bat.

After initially being given not out, the Aussies sent it upstairs for review with snicko showing a faint edge.

9pm – England openers explode

Pat Cummins and his men have no answers for England’s batting onslaught as openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett smash the attack to all corners of The Oval.

With 13 overs in the books for day three, the English duo have pushed the scoreboard along to sit at 0/66.

8pm – Crawley goes whack with the first ball

England opener Zak Crawley has made his intentions clear from the outset with a forceful shot through the covers.

A tossed up delivery from Mitchell Starc was comfortably dispatched through the cover region much to the delight of the English faithful.

After entering the day behind by 12 runs, it took only one over for England to take the lead after scoring 13 runs from Starc’s over.

7pm – Steve Smith addresses retirement rumours

Rumours have been swirling throughout the Ashes series that Steve Smith is set to hang up the gloves in the Test arena.

After guiding Australia’s first innings with a hard fought 71 from 123 deliveries, Smith fronted up to the media and addressed the rumours.

He was as emphatic as he could be in response to the swirling notion he was set to walk away from the game.

“I’m not retiring,” Smith told reporters. “I have no idea (where it’s come from), because I haven’t said it to anyone. I am not going anywhere yet.”

6:30pm – ‘Un-Australian’ tactics shredded in final Test

Australia’s slow-mo approach to putting runs on the board was widely slammed by fans watching on.

Australia passed 100 runs in the 48th over, the longest it has taken them to surpass the milestone in a Test innings in England since 1981.

England fans, recently accustomed to the theatrics and fireworks of Bazball, were less than impressed with how the morning session unfolded — some called it ‘Snoozeball’, others branded it ‘Boreball’.

Speaking on BBC Test Match Special, former England captain Michael Vaughan declared it was the worst he’s ever seen Australia bat.

“They are taking home the urn, but I’ve never seen Australia play with so much fear,” Vaughan said.

“They are usually so aggressive and try to take the game forward.

“They have just sat in to bat a long period of time without remembering you have to put a bit of pressure on the bowlers.

“This morning I thought it was the worst I’ve ever seen Australia bat in my time watching them. They never play like that.”

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