ADELAIDE: England’s hopes for drawing level in the Ashes series livened up as they ended the day with requiring another 174 runs to level the series. Importantly, England Captain Joe Root is still at the crease battling hard to give England a much needed win on the tour.
England started brightly with a 50-run partnership, their first of the series. However, Alistair Cook – who has had a disappointing series thus far- fell after toiling hard to keep the Australian new ball quicks at bay. It was Nathan Lyon who broke through once again and caused most of the trouble to a batting line-up filled with left-handers. Mark Stoneman who had batted with great intent fell shortly after as Starc finally got his line right.
Vince and Root dug in and applied themselves until the dinner break. However, as has been the trend throughout his test career, Vince edged one to slips after showing great promise. Malan joined the captain in the middle and held the middle order together. They added a fifty run stand together and survived several close shouts, some of them overturned by the DRS system. However, just before the close of play Malan was out done by a fast length ball from Pat Cummins that kept just a touch low.
Earlier, England needed to chase 354 runs to get themselves back in the Ashes after James Anderson ripped through the Australian batting lineup to give England a glimmer of hope. Australia started the day on 53/4 after Chris Woakes and Anderson had taken out four top order wickets for England in the final session of Day 3. However, the slide continued much to the delight of the Englishmen who were led by the experienced Anderson.
England were down and out after they conceded a lead of 217 runs in the first innings. However, Australia surprisingly didn’t enforce follow on at the brink of twilight when the seamers tend to get more swing and it is difficult to locate the pink ball. England then plucked out three cheap wickets in the later hours of the day.
Australia started the day with due caution and kept the scoreboard ticking but Anderson persisted with a combination of disciplined lines and attacking bowling to leave Australia gasping. Anderson struck Lyon on the helmet before taking him out when he looked for quick runs.
Australian batsmen battled hard to see out the initial burst from the bowlers but couldn’t capitalize on the starts they got on a wicket that has started to get faster as the test match has progressed. Anderson sniffled three more wickets aided by Woakes’ four-for, as England bowlers bowled with authority for the first time in the series. Australia were shot down for 138 to give England an outside chance to victory.
If England go on to chase this total, it would be their all time highest successful run chase.