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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|
Australia have gone up 2-0 in the Ashes, claiming a 120-run victory over England after picking up six wickets before Tea on Day 5.
The second Ashes Test is hanging in the balance at Adelaide Oval, as both Australia and England enter the final day with both sides capable of winning. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2:30pm (AEDT).
A five-wicket haul to James Anderson and an unbeaten half-century from Joe Root has seen England make a remarkable comeback in a Test which many thought that they were dead and buried halfway into the third day.
Leading into the fourth day, many pundits were questioning the intelligence of Steve Smith’s decision to not enforce the follow-on the previous night, as Australia sat at 4/54, and seemed in disarray against the moving pink ball. The questions would remain, as Australia had their throats ripped out by a raging Anderson and a masterful Chris Woakes, who grabbed four wickets himself.
Bowled out for the meek total of just 138, Australia still led by 354 runs, meaning England would have to bat out of their skin in order to draw the Ashes level heading into Perth.
Things looked bleak for the tourists midway through the day, with the Australians grabbing the three vital wickets of Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and James Vince, leaving England reeling at 3/91.
However, like his counterpart at the Gabba, Joe Root took control of the game and wrestled momentum back into England’s favour, hitting a crisp, unbeaten 67. Along with Dawid Malan, England looked to be edging slightly ahead, before another twist saw Malan fall to a Pat Cummins’ peach, smashing into his off-stump.
That wicket left it to Root and nightwatchman Chris Woakes to see out the night, and they finished on 4/176.
It all leads to an incredibly important final day, with Australia needing six more wickets to take an almost unassailable 2-0 series lead, and England needing just 178 more runs to draw the Ashes level.
Australia will be reliant on the pace of Mitchell Starc and the wily spin of Nathan Lyon to see them home, while England will be ever so dependent on skipper Joe Root to be there at the end of the match.
Australia: Nathan Lyon
The GOAT has had a wonderful series so far, but nothing would be better than bowling Australia to victory on the final day. He’s done it once before in Adelaide, against India in 2014, so he will be confident that doing it one more time isn’t out of his reach.
England: Joe Root
The obvious key, Root is part of the big four of world cricket (the others being Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson), but what troubles him slightly more than the other three is his conversion rate of 50s into 100s.
There is no better time to turn that around than right here, to lead his side to a famous victory in which they were dead and buried not two days ago. If Root remains unbeaten, England win. Simple.
England have come from nowhere this Test, and due to some odd decisions from Smith, they are right back in this Test and the series. They have the momentum, and Australia will start to panic the longer England go without losing wickets.
If the Australians don’t take early wickets, England will have the game in the palm of their hands, and a famous Ashes victory in their sights.
England by three wickets.
Can Australia wrestle back the momentum and head into Perth with a 2-0 series lead? Or will England complete the comeback of the ages, and draw level in the Ashes, taking a whole lot of confidence to the WACA? Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2:30pm (AEDT).