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Ashes | 2nd Test: England 176/4 at stumps on Day 4, need 178 to win vs Australia

England, after losing the series-opener by 10 wickets last week in Brisbane and being bowled out for 227 to concede a 215-run first-innings deficit in the second Test, reached 176/4 at stumps on Tuesday.
The Ashes 2017 Source: AP
Reported by: AP Adelaide December 05, 2017 17:31 IST

James Anderson produced his best bowling performance ever in Australia to drag England back into the inaugural day-night Ashes Test, and skipper Joe Root posted an unbeaten 67 to bring an unlikely upset closer to reality. England, after losing the series-opener by 10 wickets last week in Brisbane and being bowled out for 227 to concede a 215-run first-innings deficit in the second Test, reached 176/4 at stumps on Tuesday.

That leaves Root's lineup with three sessions remaining on Wednesday and six wickets in hand to score the 178 runs required to reach a victory target of 354.

England's record for a successful fourth-innings run chase was 332/7, set in Melbourne in 1928. After surviving the night session on the fourth day for the loss of only two wickets, there's growing confidence of a broken record.

A crucial 77-run partnership between Root, who faced 114 balls and had an lbw decision against him overturned on 37, and Dawid Malan (29) guided England through most of the night session. After Malan was bowled by Pat Cummins late, Chris Woakes went in as a night watchman and survived eight balls to be 5 not out at stumps.

England were completely behind the game at the Adelaide Oval until Australia skipper Steve Smith opted not to enforce the follow-on for the night session on Monday.

It backfired badly, with Anderson and Woakes taking two wickets each as Australia slid to 53-4 with the ball seaming and swinging wildly around under lights.

It didn't get better in daylight hours, with Anderson returning 5/47 — his first five-wicket haul in Australia — and Woakes taking 4-36 to skittle Australia for 138 in the first session on Tuesday. No Australian batsman surpassed 20 in the second innings.

England reached dinner at 68/2 after losing Alastair Cook (16) and Mark Stoneman (36), setting the scene for a big night session for the Australian bowlers.

It didn't happen — possibly because the ball was already 28 overs old by the time the lights were turned on rather than hard, shiny and new, and also because there was a lack of composure from the Australians.

Smith burned two umpire referrals in the space of three balls on desperate attempts to have Root and Malan dismissed when the umpire had ruled not out. That meant the Australians had no more reviews for almost 40 overs.

Root, meanwhile, used his referral to perfect advantage, asking for a review after he was given out lbw on 37 when England was 101/3, and having the decision overturned when the tracker technology showed the ball from Nathan Lyon was going over the stumps.

 

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