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Australia v England
Sydney Cricket Ground, January 4-8, 2018
5th Test - Australia v England Test Series 2017/2018
|England 1st Inn||346 all out|
|Australia 1st Inn||7/649 d.|
|England 2nd Inn||180 all out|
|England won the toss and elected to bat.|
|Australia win by an innings and 123 runs|
|England||Over: 88.1 RR: 1.75|
|Last Wicket:||J.M. Anderson, 2 (c. Paine b. Hazlewood) - 9/180|
Australia are in a commanding position heading into Day 4 of the fifth Ashes Test, but will be keen shut England completely out of the match. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 10:30am (AEDT).
While the hosts can’t sweep the series after a draw in Melbourne, they have been back at their dominant best in Sydney, with England spending another 157 overs in the field for the return of just four wickets.
Even if the pitch and scoring rate has been a little slow, the tourists are a long way behind in this fifth Test. From the position they are in, a win looks impossible, the only way for them to avoid a 4-0 series loss being to draw.
That’s going to require a lot of application with the bat on a pitch likely to take turn more and more over the final two days, and with Nathan Lyon in superb form, it’ll be easier said than done to do what Australia did in Melbourne.
After the Poms fell short with the bat in their first innings, scoring 346 and being well below par, they have been made to pay over the last day and a half.
Usman Khawaja led the way with 171, but the only batsman to fail for Australia was Cameron Bancroft, as they went to stumps at 4 for 479, for a lead of 133.
At the crease are the Marsh brothers – Shaun is 98 not out, while Mitchell is 63. Both will be on the hunt for a century, but they need to do it quickly so Australia can firstly build their lead to more than 200 or 250, batting most of the first session, then get back into the field.
While this pitch isn’t as tame as the one presented in Melbourne, it’s still going to take a lot of time for the hosts to roll England and then potentially have a chase on Day 5. They likely going to want the best part of five sessions to do so, meaning there won’t be much mucking around this morning.
The one thing the Aussies may take into account is the weather forecast. Almost 40 degrees is on the menu for Sunday, so they won’t want to spend all day in the field, meaning Steve Smith may elect to bat on for a little longer.
Once Australia do declare, it’ll be up to England. They are demoralised and another two days in the field won’t have done any positives for their batting. It’s hard to see them surviving any great length of time, but stranger things have happened.
If they can see off the new ball, then runs may come easier against the quick bowlers, but it’ll still be a struggle to see off Nathan Lyon, who is likely to do a lot of bowling in the hot conditions.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Day 4 from 10:30am (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.