Ashes 2022: Ricky Ponting rages over Rory Burns’ unforgivable act as Aussies tighten grip on fifth Test

Australia claimed a 115 run lead in the first innings in Hobart, with Pat Cummins claiming the wicket of opposing captain Joe Root to help take control of the fifth Ashes Test.

Cummins, deprived of an SCG victory that would have kept his whitewash hopes alive, led the way as Australia beat England for 188 to bolster their bid for a 4-0 series win .

Watch Rory Burns’ run in the video above

The skipper, who trapped 4-45, knocked out Root and Dawid Malan in quick succession in a 3-7 collapse that also featured Ben Stokes’ key scalp.

The hosts completed England’s innings in 47.4 overs despite being far from clinical.

No. 8 Chris Woakes had the top score with 36 after being waived on zero and five, with his first-ball reprieve coming when David Warner seized a regulation first-slip chance.

Cummins did not review two shoutouts taken late, with replays indicating they represented missed opportunities to fire Malan and Rory Burns.

But such was Australia’s dominance and their bowler’s ability to create pressure despite the flash of the pink ball that none of those moments proved costly.

pat cummins
Pat Cummins celebrates taking the key wicket from England captain Joe Root in the fifth Test from the Ashes. Credit: AAP

Cummins showed once again that he can learn on the job, reviewing a catched call by Mitchell Starc’s bolwing (3-53) to capture Woakes’ wicket despite limited interest from wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Root and Malan beat decisively in their 49-run stand after being asked to rebuild for the umpteenth time this summer, only to have the latter throw in his wicket via a leg side grab for Carey.

Cummins’ lbw dismissal of Root, whose 34 proved England’s second-best score, is likely to feature on the superstar’s fast-paced end-of-summer highlights reel.

The sewn and pinned delivery Root deep in the fold.

Cummins celebrated enthusiastically, punching the air, as Root shook his head and walked away in scenes reflecting how Australia took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five Test series.

Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates his wicket of England's Ben Stokes during day two of the Fifth Test.
Australia’s Mitchell Starc celebrates his wicket of England’s Ben Stokes during day two of the Fifth Test. Credit: Steve Bell/Getty Images

Burns was unnecessarily exhausted for a duck by Marnus Labuschagne’s direct hit, while fellow flyhalf Zak Crawley was undone on the 18th when Travis Head’s juggled short leg catch gave Cummins his first wicket.

Stokes hit a boundary, finding a gap between the leg slide and Carey, before falling victim to a sensational catch from Nathan Lyon on point.

Lyon failed to throw a single but their freewheeling 31 took Australia to a 303 total in the first innings in Saturday’s opener.

Lyon hoisted three bouncers from express pacer Mark Wood over the leg-side fence, including a thunderclap that sent the pink ball whizzing out of the ground.

Lyon and Boland’s 23-wicket final position lifted Australia’s tally beyond 300, well above what England managed in any of their nine legs on the tour.

Burns caused by poor exertion

Meanwhile, England fly-half Rory Burns has escaped the wrath of Ricky Ponting after his return to the top of the English order went much the same way his Ashes streak began – for a duck.

After being dropped after two meager first Tests, Burns was given a reprieve for the series finale in Hobart with the visitors looking for answers against the new ball.

He lasted just six deliveries in the opening innings before being exhausted by a direct hit from Marnus Labuschagne attempting a risky single.

It was five more balls Burns faced in the opening innings of the first Test at the Gabba, where he was bowled around his legs by a Mitchell Starc delivery that set Australia’s tone for the series.

Australian great Ricky Ponting blamed Burns for not showing enough desperation to beat the pitch, especially as he was fighting for his place on the team.

“He’s back in the side, fighting for his Test career and he’s not ready to take a big dip there to try and save his wicket,” Ponting said in a commentary on Channel Seven.

Ricky Ponting was frustrated with Burns' efforts.
Ricky Ponting was frustrated with Burns’ efforts. Credit: DARREN ENGLAND/AAPIMAGE

“I know it’s not his fault, probably not his decision, but you can imagine Marnus Labuschagne in the same situation. He would have dived two or three meters from the crease.

England have tried three opening combinations this summer and average just 12.78 for the first wicket.

Zac Crawley and Haseeb Hameed produced the highest-grossing opening stand of 46 in round two of the fourth Test at the SCG, but that wasn’t enough to save the latter from the ax for Hobart.

Burns now has eight ducks in his last 22 innings.

England fly-half have been dismissed for 14 ducks in 2021, a team record.

Rory Burns offered his wicket.
Rory Burns offered his wicket. Credit: Getty

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