By Paul Edwards

Australia 179 and 171-6 (Labuschagne 53*) lead England 67 (Hazlewood 5-30) by 283 runs

Some people complain about the price of Test Match tickets and there are rain-restricted afternoons when one sees their point. Then there are days like this at Headingley when one understands why folk might pay £150 for one of the best seats in the house in the Emerald Stand. Immediately there may be objections to this view. For one thing, it is pretty rich for someone who doesn’t pay a penny for his cricket to pontificate about others’ expenditure. For another, people may wonder quite how much satisfaction can be derived from seeing England bowled out for 67, their lowest total against Australia since 1952 and their second lowest in an Ashes Test since 1909.

Well, quite a lot as it happens, although not so much if you turn up at a cricket match interested only in seeing one team prosper. There is, one might argue, a difference between loyally supporting a side and refusing to see an opponent’s merits. Let it be put more pointedly: if you were determined to boo David Warner at every opportunity this Friday morning, you were unlikely to appreciate his four slip catches, particularly the high-class efforts which removed Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow off the excellent Josh Hazlewood.

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