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Australia v England
W.A.C.A. Ground, December 14-18, 2017
3rd Test - Australia v England Test Series 2017/2018
|England 1st Inn||403 all out|
|Australia 1st Inn||9/662 d.|
|England 2nd Inn||218 all out|
|England won the toss and elected to bat.|
|Australia win by an innings and 41 runs|
|England||Over: 72.5 RR: 2.60|
|Last Wicket:||C.R. Woakes, 22 (c. Paine b. Cummins) - 10/218|
Australia have regained the Ashes, defeating England in the third Test by an innings and 41 runs to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
England require a miracle to save the third Ashes Test, but rain and some in-form batsmen might do the trick against an Australian side on the verge of winning the series. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 1pm (AEDT).
The tourists are in all sorts. Down 2-0 in the series, they have just six wickets left in their second innings, still 127 runs from making Australia bat again.
England have been comprehensively outplayed, yet still might get away with it. The weather forecast for Day 5 is less than impressive and plenty of rain overnight will leave the ground in a state where play might not be possible at the start time.
While the rain is expected to ease as the day goes on, the chance of getting 98 overs in appears slim so Australia will need to move quickly.
Luckily for them and their bowling attack, they took four English wickets yesterday, some of them simply unplayable thanks to the cracks starting to open up in the WACA wicket.
If they continue to create havoc today, it could be over in no time. However, the main reason England were able to build such a lead in the first innings was Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow.
After scoring 140 and 119 respectively in the first innings, they sit 28 and 14 not out at stumps, seemingly the last hope given an out of sorts Moeen Ali and the tail are to follow.
England’s tail has been, to put it nicely, woeful throughout the series.
If England are going to have any chance of surviving and forcing a draw (provided the rain holds off) it feels as if the pair will need to knock off the remaining runs and then some.
It all comes not so long after Steve Smith scored a double century and Mitchell Marsh 181 to put the hosts in a commanding position. The pitch is still one which allows a batsman to score runs, but surviving the start of an innings has been difficult.
The pitch has certainly deteriorated, but not to the point where you would doubt Australia making a short chase at the end of the match if needed – of course, the thrill of amazing Adelaide from 2006 would be sensational, but it probably won’t get there.
The only way England get a draw out of this is if there is more time lost due to the weather. If we play a full 98 overs, then Australia will take the six wickets and if needed, chase it down at some point.
I’m hesitant to say Australia will win by an innings, but if they get Bairstow and Malan early then that should be the result with the tourists still 127 behind.
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