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Boland stars, England slip to 4-36 at SCG

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Scott Boland has continued his remarkable start to Test cricket, claiming the prized scalp of Joe Root as England crashed to 4-36 at lunch on day three at the SCG.

Boland removed Root for a duck, thanks to a sharp catch from Steve Smith at second slip, and bowled Zak Crawley to enhance Australia’s grip on the fourth Ashes Test.

The Victorian, who retained his spot in Australia’s attack because fellow pacemen Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson were both ruled out because of injuries, picked up where he left off in Melbourne.

Boland has 2-0 from four overs in Sydney, while he snared astonishing second-innings figures of 6-7 and man-of-the-match honours on debut at the MCG.

Ben Stokes is yet to score and nursing a side injury, while lunch was called when Cameron Green extended the visitors’ misery with the wicket of Dawid Malan.

England trail Australia by 380 runs.

Even with further showers forecast throughout the contest, the tourists will likely need to dig deep to avoid going 4-0 down in the five-Test series.

Rain delayed the start of play at the SCG on Friday, making it three days in a row that wet weather has caused issues.

Openers Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley, who both navigated five testing overs on day two thanks to a no-ball that cost Mitchell Starc a wicket, resumed at 12.10pm AEDT.

Hameed and Crawley extended their partnership into the 10th over, making it England’s longest opening stand of the summer.

Wicketkeeper Alex Carey put down a chance offered by Hameed on two, denying Starc another chance to break the opening partnership.

But the reprieve cost just four runs, with Hameed’s dismissal to Starc igniting a stunning collapse of 4-14.

Crawley scored 18 and copped a nasty blow to the hand before misreading a delivery that seamed back and disturbed his off stump.

Australia declared at 8-416 late on day two after Usman Khawaja celebrated his recall with an impressive knock of 137.

The hosts hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.

-AAP

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