Welcome to news.com.au’s coverage of day three of the pink-ball Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval.
Australia will be hunting for early wickets on Saturday afternoon, with England losing both of their openers late on day two.
Mitchell Starc once again removed under-fire left-hander Rory Burns, while debutant Michael Neser claimed his first Test wicket with his second delivery in Australian whites.
The hosts declared at 9/473 on Friday after Marnus Labuschagne scored his sixth Test century. David Warner and Australian captain Steve Smith also fell agonisingly short of tons.
Play was abandoned early on day two after a lightning strike forced a premature end – with day three beginning early at the unusual time of 2.41pm AEDT.
Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.
England’s horror tour just keeps getting worse
After England’s cricketers were outclassed on day two of the Adelaide Test, the International Cricket Council gave the Poms some more bad news that evening.
On Friday, the ICC confirmed that England had been penalised an additional three World Test Championship points for their sloppy over-rates in last week’s Gabba Test. England was required to bowl 98 overs on day two in Brisbane, but only managed to get through 84.
The ICC subsequently fined each of England’s players 100 per cent of their match fee, with five points docked from the World Test Championship ladder too.
But the punishment grew in severity after the ICC clarified in a statement on Friday evening: “England were eight overs short (not five overs short as previously announced) but were only fined 100 per cent of their match fee due to the limit.
“However, the points deduction for penalty overs is not capped and must reflect the actual number of penalty overs a team is short of the minimum requirement as per Clause 16.1.2 of the ICC Playing Conditions, hence they have been penalised one point for each over they were short.”
England has now dropped to seventh place on the World Test Championship table.
Last summer, Australia was fined 40 per cent of its match fee for a slow over-rate during the Boxing Day Test match against India at the MCG.
The Aussies were also stripped of four World Test Championship points, which ultimately cost them a place in the Test Championship Final.
But England assistant coach Graham Thorpe was not fazed by the over-rate problem, telling reporters on Thursday: “I think there’s bigger things going on in the world than over-rates.”
Twist in Cummins Covid saga
The South Australian Government has granted Test captain Pat Cummins permission to return home to New South Wales on a single charter flight following his Covid-19 scare in Adelaide.
On Thursday morning, Cricket Australia announced that Cummins would not feature in the second Ashes Test after the bowler was deemed a close contact of a person who had tested positive for Covid-19.
SA Health requires fully-vaccinated close contacts to complete a seven-day isolation, meaning the 28-year-old will be permitted to leave quarantine on December 23 if he continues to test negative.
On Friday, CA revealed that Cummins would travel home under a plan that had been approved by SA Health.
“He will self-drive from isolation and then, with the appropriate PPE and hygiene controls, take a single charter flight,” a CA statement read.
“Cricket Australia will continue to consult with SA Health to ensure compliance with the plan.
“He will continue to observe all isolation requirements in NSW.
“Cummins produced a negative test result on Thursday.”