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Archer's 6-45 scythes through Australia to hand England the advantage
Match Report

Archer's 6-45 scythes through Australia to hand England the advantage

Jofra Archer claimed six wickets in a sizzling spell of hostile fast bowling to bundle out Australia for a paltry total of 179 in the absence of Steve Smith on the first day of Headingley Test.

Fresh from a sensational Test debut at Lord's where he almost inspired an unlikely England win, Archer completely dismantled the Australia batting lineup driving home the message that his addition has truly galvanized the hosts' bowling attack.

Archer and company vindicated England captain Joe Root's decision to field first immediately after winning the toss as they reduced Australia to 25-2 amidst frequent rain delays.

Australia then recovered well courtesy a 111-run stand for the third wicket between Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner.

Both players struck fifties to lift the tourists to a respectable position, leading a counterattack to tame the opposition.

Archer, however, triggered Australia's slide into disarray by first scalping Warner with a terrific out-swinger on the off-stump.

Warner's wicket was soon followed by the dismissals of Matthew Wade and Travis Head for scores of nought.

Head was squared up by a Stuart Broad delivery clipping the top of off-stump while Wade was rendered unlucky when the ball deflected off his thigh pad to dislodge the bail.

Warner's return to form offered Australia some solace since he registered his first double-digit score of the series as Labuschagne on the other end validated his batting credentials by filling in the huge shoes of Smith with another fighting effort.

Cameron Bancroft, who had accumulated just 44 runs across four innings following his comeback to Test cricket after the expiry of his 9-month ban for ball-tampering, was replaced with Marcus Harris in the opening slot.

Harris, though, did little to repay the faith bestowed on him by the selectors as he perished for a timid eight when Archer had him prod loosely to a sharp delivery and edge the ball behind to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

Usman Khawaja was undone by Broad for a strangle down the leg-side despite the not-out verdict by the on-field umpire.

England's decision to review Chris Gaffaney's original call thus paid dividends.

Warner compares Archer to Steyn

Jubilant after registering his maiden five-wicket haul, Archer claimed he was ticked off by the regular interruptions in play owing to a steady drizzle and later, bad light under overcast conditions.

Despite the stoppages, Archer managed to maintain his rhythm and strike when it mattered for his team.

"It was stop-start all day, which is really annoying," he told the BBC.

"I'm over the moon to get six wickets but equally happy just to get off.

"The ball just started swinging randomly from the over before the Warner wicket."

Meanwhile, Warner felt relieved to finally time the deliveries off the middle of his bat though he failed to capitalize on his attractive start and convert into a big ton.

"I was always confident I could find form," the left-handed opening batsman said.

"Good balls were getting me out and that happens. You just have to work out how to survive."

Warner also lauded Archer's bowling heroics and outlined the similarities between him and South Africa's pace bowling legend Dale Steyn.

"I look at him like Dale Steyn, searching for swing and movement early on but then ramping up their speed later," said Warner.

"That is world-class bowling and England have a great prospect."

Australia's end to their first innings was hastened by another mini-collapse which saw them lose four wickets for six runs.

Pat Cummins and James Pattinson could not hold on to provide any substantial support to Labuschagne before the middle order batsman himself fell in bizarre fashion.

The 25-year-old could not sight a random Ben Stokes' full-toss that struck him flush on the pads but instead of walking back to the pavilion, Labuschagne decided to review the out decision only to watch the replays showing the ball crashing into the stumps.

Archer then had Nathan Lyon miss a full delivery handing the youngster his sixth wicket of the day to cap off a dominant England performance.