Jonny Bairstow century highlights ‘Pink’ Day 3 of 4th Ashes Test

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Sydney: A brave century by Jonny Bairstow and a half-century for Ben Stokes helped England claw its way back to 258-7 after a terrible start to the third day of the fourth Ashes Test Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Bairstow scored the tourists’ first century in its seventh innings this series to headline a day where England had slumped to 36-4 by lunch before its middle order counterattacked to help England get back into the match on another rain-affected day at the SCG.

In clear pain after being struck on the thumb by a Pat Cummins delivery and with partners running out, Bairstow began attacking at nearly every ball and brought up a deserved century from 138 balls with 12 boundaries and three sixes moments before stumps by slashing a Cummins delivery for four.

Bairstow celebrated his seventh Test century by running halfway towards the England team dressing room with arms aloft, where his teammates had gathered to acknowledge a vital innings in the context of the match which had earlier looked to be slipping away.

At stumps, Bairstow was 103 not out and Jack Leach was on four, with England trailing Australia by 158 runs.

Earlier, Ben Stokes made a typically swashbuckling 66 of 91 balls, including nine fours and a towering six over cover, as part of a 128-run partnership with Bairstow which steadied England’s innings after its early collapse.

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