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Another day of cricket testing, and another day of England leaving the pitch with a sense of frustration and resignation.

After a brilliant start, fans who had little to cheer about may have started dreaming of a consolation win in a hellish streak, but instead it was the advantage of the game. Australia because rain interrupted play just after 9 p.m. AEDT.

The phrase ‘a good shot to win’ can be overused, but it certainly was here, with Hobart offering one of the greenest peaks ever seen on these shores.

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England won that draw and sent Australia – taking full advantage of the first ten overs, having hosts 3-12 – and lucky not to be four, when Marnus Labuschagne was dropped by Zak Crawley as he was on a duck.

Travis Head Cameron Green teams up to thwart England after horror begins

No matter how you slice it, England were essentially born on third base today and sent off at home – a magnificent wasted opportunity.

It’s unclear what the visitors did after that brilliant start, as the Australians essentially decided there was no point in digging in the trenches, and instead opted for offense as their best defense.

On the pitch, England obliged, with far too many loose balls coupled with very defensive field placements.

Labuschagne did 44 more races than he should have before he finally had some bad luck in that series, slipping and watching a delivery from Stuart Broad kicking his stumps.

Labuschagne falls into an astonishing dismissal

This brought Cameron Green to the crease, and he and Travis Head continued to add to the scoreboard almost a race a ball, before the latter was obediently dismissed just a ball after celebrating his second century in the series.

Head was far from a guaranteed starter for the Aussies just two months ago, it’s now hard to imagine the squad without him – and a bit fortuitous that the only two men who have recorded centuries in that time. Ashes are the two who were supposed to fight in one place at Head and Usman Khawaja.

A good game plan eventually saw Green beat Crawley for 74, but by then it was too late – Australia still set to top 300, a milestone England have yet to reach since arriving.

Maybe the second day will bring a change of fortunes for England, but even if it does, how long will it last?

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