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Sports


Denly rates England’s chances of levelling the series ‘very highly’

Denly rates England’s chances of levelling the series ‘very highly’

Headingley, Aug 25 (UNI) After making a gritty half-century to help keep England

afloat on the third day here, middle-order batsman Joe Denly said that his side

has a realistic chance of levelling the Ashes series, with a victory in the third Test.

Set a daunting target of 359 – only Australia have successfully chased down a

higher total in the country – the first-innings demons returned to haunt England

as they were reduced to 15/2.

That is when Denly, alongside his captain Joe Root, got together to buckle down

and steady the innings. Together, the duo put on 126 for the third wicket to leave

the Test hanging in the balance by the time stumps were drawn on Saturday.

"I rate our chances very highly," Denly said. "There are not too many demons in

the pitch. We are in a very good position. There is a lot of belief in that changing

room and excitement going into tomorrow."

Winning from here would require England to outdo their best fourth-innings effort

to win a Test – a 332-run chase against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

in 1928 – but Denly believed the outcome could be a favourable one if they manage

to dig in and get a couple more of the partnership that he and Root had, an ICC

report said

By stumps, Root had moved to 75 not out, a fighting but far from assured knock,

as he was beaten on both edges routinely by Josh Hazlewood and struggled against

Nathan Lyon’s nagging line from over the wicket late in the third session. Giving him

company was Ben Stokes, who seemed unfazed as he blocked resolutely to finish on

2 not out off 50 balls.

With Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and an accomplished lower order to follow, Denly

said that the task is doable, so long as they can show the fight and character it

demands.

"We were disappointed with the 67 and it was not good enough,” Denly said, “but

it's about showing character and fight in this second innings."

"We believe. If we get one or two more partnerships tomorrow, we're in with a real

shout,” he added.

UNI XC-BM

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