Australia’s Tim Paine plays down on-field comments to England’s Ben Stokes
Australia captain Tim Paine denied his side’d allowed sledging go too far as England laid the foundations for an success in the last Test.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
England batted throughout day three as when they resume on 313-8, they stacked up a towering lead of 382 at The Oval, and will look to stretch that beyond 400.
The tourists attempted to unsettle the hosts with Matthew Wade seemingly to the end, using a flow of chatter in a morning session that was tense, and the stump microphone picked attempts to wind up Ben Stokes during his combative knock of 67.
The England all-rounder overlooked the Ashes series Down Under following his arrest for a night scuffle in Bristol – an episode that ultimately resulted in his acquittal on charges of affray – along with references into the city proved audible in the fielders.
Paine was introduced into captain his country in an overt attempt to clean up the reputation and conduct following the sandpaper scandal of Australia and did not take kindly to suggestions he’d overseen a slip in standards.
“You tell me. It is aggressive Test cricket and individuals will talk to one another,” he said.
“I don’t understand why it’s such an issue. It is fine. They are grown men no-one is swearing, no one is currently abusing anyone: it match cricket and that I really don’t know why so much is made of something modest, especially given the grade of cricket.
“I believe there’s so much more to discuss. I think both sides have played with this series in great soul.”
Joe Denly was out in the middle for longer than any other batsman as he uttered the England innings using a career-best innings of 94, and he declined to fan the flames some further.
“I didn’t hear anything about Bristol but if Ben comes to the crease, the type of player he is, they are likely to attempt to unsettle him,” he explained.
“Stokesy copes with this fairly well. There’s always going to be a bit of niggle but nothing within the line, just a lot of friendly banter.”
Denly has been a few days that are memorable, using a father for the second time in between the second and first of the game. To follow that private news up at his final appearance of the summer with a performance of material and grit rested and surprisingly well left him articles.
“I had an excellent last night since I stayed at the hotel and got about 10 hours! The previous night I had about three hours I grabbed up,” he explained.
“I missed the birth of my first child – he arrived three months early and that I had been playing Derby, the midwife said’don’t rush’ so that I did not! I hit traffic and missed it by about five minutes. Therefore it was good to get there and see my woman come into the world. It’s been a fairly special few days.
“It would have been nice for the milestone having worked so hard but I’d probably take that, yeah. England are in a really strong position going into day four and hopefully we get a couple more runs and place them under pressure.”
Watch live coverage from day four of the fifth Test on Sky Sports The Ashes, from 10.30am on Sunday.
Follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on skysports.com along with the Sky Sports App.
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