At a time when everything looked to be heading south for England, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes stepped up, leading one of the most memorable counterattacks in recent times. England were reeling at 36/4 with Mitchell Starc, Cameron Green and Scott Boland putting Australia early on top on Day 3 but Bairstow and Stokes had other ideas in mind. Stokes survived a dismissal when the ball did not dislodge the bails but hit the stumps and scored 66, while Bairstow stole the show in Sydney with an unbeaten 103*. The duo stitched a massive 128-run partnership to bail England out of trouble and into a state where they can atleast be mighty proud of their effort. At the close of play on Day 3, England were 258/7, still 158 behind Australia. Bizarre! Ben Stokes Survives Dismissal Despite Ball Hitting Stumps During Day 3 of Australia vs England 4th Ashes Test 2021 (Watch Video)

England were headed for another humiliating batting performance--much like they have been experiencing all throughout the ongoing Ashes and things looked really grim when England lost opener Haseeb Hameed, to a Mitchell Starc delivery. Things turned from bad to worse when even captain Joe Root followed suit, when he was sent back for a duck by in-form Scott Boland.

But England started a fightback with Bairstow and Stokes as the stars of the show. The duo countered every challenge Australia had to offer and came out all guns blazing. But after Stokes departed, Jos Buttler followed suit, being undone by a delivery from Australia captain Pat Cummins as he was dismissed for a duck. Then came Mark Wood and he hung around with Bairstow, scoring 39 attractive runs with two fours and three sixes. Cummins had the better of him as well but Jack Leach walked in and ensured no further damage was done to England's batting line-up as he closed out the day's play with centurion Bairstow. England do have a lot of work left to complete a fightback and Bairstow would want Leach to hang around him with him as much as possible on Day 4. Sachin Tendulkar Suggests ‘Hitting the Stumps’ Rule While Reacting to Ben Stokes’ Bizarre Incident During Day 3 of AUS vs ENG 4th Test (Check Post)

Take a look at some stat highlights of the game:

Jonny Bairstow scored his seventh Test century and second against England.

He is the first England batsman to score a hundred in the ongoing Ashes.

Ben Stokes scored his 25th Test fifty.

Jonny Bairstow also completed 1000 Test runs against Australia.

Pat Cummins dismissed Jos Buttler for the sixth time in Test cricket.

With England showing some fight and sending across a message that they are not done yet, an exciting Day 4 awaits cricket fans. Would Bairstow continue defying Australia and help England save the Test? Or is it just a matter of time before the hosts pounce on England and dominate them once again? Stay tuned to find out!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 07, 2022 02:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website