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Australia v England
Adelaide Oval, December 2-6, 2017
2nd Test - Australia v England Test Series 2017/2018
|Australia 1st Inn||8/442 d.|
|England 1st Inn||227 all out|
|Australia 2nd Inn||138 all out|
|England 2nd Inn||233 all out|
|England won the toss and elected to bowl.|
|Australia win by 120 runs|
|England||Over: 84.2 RR: 2.38|
|Last Wicket:||J.M. Bairstow, 36 (b. Starc) - 10/233|
Day 4 of the second Ashes Test could prove critical as England desperately fight to get back into the series and Australia aim to hammer another nail into the coffin. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2pm (AEDT).
Australia is in the stronger position after three days, leading by 268 runs with six wickets remaining in their second innings and two days to build a lead before forcing the English to survive. With the form of their bowlers any lead above 300 is going to be a tough chase on a deteriorating pitch.
But thanks to an exciting final two hours yesterday, the tourists will feel they are still in with a chance.
Their bowlers took advantage of the conditions and a new pink ball under lights. It proved too much for the Australian top four with all of them back in the sheds and the scoreboard 4-53 at stumps.
If England can continue that bowling form today and take their chances, they could be looking at a low 300s total to chase down and the best part of five sessions to get them in.
Day 3 started with the tourists on 1 for 29 chasing down 442. The top order couldn’t get to grips with a strong Australian bowling performance and another six wickets fell as England limped to 7 for 142.
Just when it looked like Australia would cruise to victory, the England tail showed some grit. Craig Overton and Chris Woakes put on 66, with Overton ending up 41 not out on debut.
The big names of England’s batting line-up – Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow – could not stamp any authority on the Australian bowlers. Root was particularly poor and his nine runs is nowhere near what his team need from him.
It wasn’t just the bowling that impressed from the home side – the fielding was impressive and included two fantastic caught and bowled examples.
While the bowling was good, too many English batsmen caused their own downfall with poor shot selection and a lack of patience.
Steve Smith decided not to enforce the follow on, but things didn’t go to plan. In the final two hours of the day the tourists bowled fantastically. It was an exciting end and was the first real demonstration of how England could be a threat in this series.
Cameron Bancroft went first with just five on the scoreboard as James Anderson managed to find the edge. David Warner and Usman Khawaja started to get a partnership going but then Anderson struck again and had Khawaja leg before.
Anderson then thought he had the big scalp of Smith for a duck, only for be denied by the decision review system with the ball pitching outside leg. But Smith didn’t really get to trouble the scorers as Woakes picked up the big wickets of first Warner (caught at slip) and then the captain a few overs later LBW.
This late surge from England has added some spice to the match. Of course, Australia are massive favourites, but England will want to build on the momentum of these couple of hours and see if they can gain some confidence. Only one team has ever chased down a total larger than 300 at the Adelaide Oval – curiously it was actually England, but it was 115 years ago.
For the Australians, they will want to steady things a bit, add on as many as they can in the first session or two and then let their bowlers loose under the lights. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we see this game wrapped up by the end of Day 4 if England collapse
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