England have made a strong start to the Third Ashes Test, with Dawid Malan scoring his maiden century in a crucial opening day in Perth.

The tourists need a win in order to stand any chance of defending their Ashes title, after losing both Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide.

England fell to 131-4, however the partnership of Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow steadied the ship and meant that at the close of play England have 305-4.

Prior to this, Mark Stoneman made 56, however Joe Root and James Vince gathered 45 runs between them. Alistair Cook, who started his 150th Test Match, was out for seven early on.

Australia’s fast bowlers looked to contain England, however Malan and Bairstow ensured that the hosts will need to come out fighting straight away in Day 2.

England’s record at the WACA has been dreadful since 1978

Disheartening start

History was not on England’s side going into the Third Test. The W.A.C.A. Ground in Perth, hosting it’s last Ashes test, is a place where England have not won a match since 1978. This looked set to repeat itself, as England fell to 131-4.

Alistair Cook, who started his 150th Test Match for England, was out for seven with an lbw. Australia’s fast bowlers Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Skipper Joe Root soon followed, all caught out by Australian wicket keeper Tim Paine.

Going into tea, England were on 175-4, with Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow charged with leading another fight back.

Malan heroics

Malan managed to stop the rot prior to Tea, scoring 42 runs and giving England a chance of counter attacking after the break.

The 30-year-old from Middlesex carried on from where he left off, however it did not come without the continued threat from Australia.

David Warner nearly ran out Malan, however the ball fortunately missed the stumps.

Along with Bairstow, England were able to steady the ship, with Malan scoring his maiden century with a hook for four off Hazelwood, cueing the Barmy Army to sing: “We’re going to win 3-2”.

Malan has now scored the most runs of any batsman during the tournament.

Looking ahead

Lancashire’s James Anderson will be hoping to continue England’s impressive start. The 35-year-old bats last for England however it will be his bowling that could make the difference to the Three Lions as they pursue their first Test win of the series.

Day Two of the Ashes Third Test starts at 23:30 GMT today, with coverage on BT Sport.

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