The Ashes: Travis Head slams ton to calm rocky start
Travis Head returned from Covid-19 to smash a belligerent 101 and Cameron Green made 74 to revive Australia after a top-order collapse on the opening day of the Day-Night final Ashes Test against England on Friday.
England’s all-seam attack had reduced Australia to 12 for 3 in a strong start for the tourists, who have already lost the five-Test series following heavy defeats in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Head put on 71 with Marnus Labuschagne (44) and added 121 with Green as Australia reached 241/6 before rain forced early stumps in the pink-ball contest at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval.
Alex Carey will resume on 10 on Day II with Mitchell Starc, who was yet to open his account. “Anything over 300 and I think it’s going to be a great start,” Head told reporters. “The conditions, pink ball... it’s (pitch) probably more bowler-friendly. So anything over 300 and batting as long as we possibly can tomorrow (Saturday) is going to be key and when we bowl, making sure we identify the moments.”
Earlier, England’s seamers blew away Australia’s top order in a frenetic first session, vindicating captain Joe Root’s decision to field under an overcast sky. Australia dropped Marcus Harris to accommodate both fit-again Head and Usman Khawaja, who scored twin hundreds in the last Test in Sydney batting in the middle order.
Ollie Robinson broke through in the sixth over when Zak Crawley took a catch at second slip to send back David Warner for a 22-ball duck.
Khawaja edged Stuart Broad to depart for six, and Crawley made no mistake when Robinson induced an edge from Steve Smith, who fell for a duck.
Labuschagne went on the attack, flicking Chris Woakes for a six before a bizarre dismissal. The right-hander shuffled outside the off stump and overbalanced. Broad’s delivery clattered onto his stumps.
Head raced to a 112-ball century — his second of the series, containing 12 boundaries — but fell immediately afterwards.