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England’s condition deteriorates in the third Ashes test amidst the shadow of Corona

Melbourne, Dec 27 (AP) England are facing dire conditions on and off the field on Monday, the second day of the third Ashes Test against Australia after two members of their support staff tested positive.

Before the start of the second day’s play, two members of England’s support staff were found to be positive, causing the game to start late.

In reply to England’s 185, Australia scored 267 runs to take an 82-run lead in the first innings. In reply, England lost four wickets in the second innings for 31 runs.

Mitchell Starc caught Jacques Crowley for five behind the wicket. David Malan was dismissed in the fifth over without opening the account. Scott Boland, playing the first Test, took two wickets for one run. He sent Haseeb Hameed (7) and Jack Leach (0) to the pavilion.

Ben Stokes and Joe Root are at the crease and England still need to score 51 runs to avoid an innings defeat.

Leading yesterday’s score of 61 for four, Australia lost Nathan Lyon (10), Marnus Labuschagne (1) and Steve Smith (16) before lunch.

Opener Marcus Harris (76) shared a 60-run partnership with Travis Head (27). Caught to Joe Root at head slip. Ten runs later, Harris lost a wicket off James Anderson. Anderson took four wickets for 33 runs in 23 overs.

Earlier, Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hawkley said there was no need to change the current schedule, with the next two Tests scheduled to be played in Sydney and Hobart in January.

“We need to remain calm,” he said. It is important to keep following medical advice and protocols.

Earlier, England Cricket had tweeted, “The England team and management are currently awaiting the results of the RFT Corona investigation at the team hotel as a positive case has come to the group of family members of the team.”

Cricket Australia later said in a statement, “Cricket Australia has been informed that two members of the England cricket team’s support staff and two members of their families have tested positive for the coronavirus.”

It further said, “They are in isolation. After this the rapid antigen test of all the players and support staff was done and all have come negative. PCR test of England cricket team was also done. Both the teams will be extra careful while playing.

AP

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