A five-wicket haul for James Anderson and an unbeaten half-century by Joe Root has edged England close to a miracle victory in Adelaide and squaring the series.
Chasing 354, the visitors started well with Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman adding 53 runs for the first wicket. The former skipper survived an LBW decision early in his innings off Mitchell Starc, with replays suggesting that the ball would have hit leg stump. Australia finally got their breakthrough as Nathan Lyon trapped the left-hander with a fuller delivery. A run later, Stoneman departed with Usman Khawaja taking a low catch at gully. James Vince attempt to play a cover-drive off Mitchell Starc ended up in the hands of Peter Handscomb at slip. Joe Root and Dawid Malan’s partnership of 78 runs for the fourth wicket pulled the visitors out of a tricky period, reducing the required runs to under 200. Pat Cummins finished with fiery spell late in the day and was rewarded, getting through Malan’s defence for the vital breakthrough.
Starting the day at 53/4, Australia were ahead by 256 runs and still held the high cards in the game. The flurry of wickets at the fag end of Day 3 had resulted in the visitors gaining momentum, on which the bowlers capitalised in the morning session.
Anderson, apart from a pair of torn trousers, finished with his first five-wicket haul in Australia. He picked up the nightwatchman Nathan Lyon early and dismissed Peter Handscomb caught at third slip. Tim Paine was caught brilliantly by Craig Overton, running in from deep fine-leg trying to attempt a hook shot of Chris Woakes. The all-rounder picked up his fourth wicket with a leg-cutter going through the defence of Shaun Marsh. Anderson picked up Starc for his fifth wicket and Overton finished the innings as Josh Hazlewood edged a short delivery to gully.
With six wickets in hand and 178 runs needed, Joe Root and his batsmen have a substantial chance of chasing down Australia’s score, registering the highest ever run-chase at the Adelaide Oval and more importantly, squaring the series.
You can check out the highlights of Day 4 here!