Ashes: Joe Root gives England hope of winning second Test in Adelaide

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England captain Joe Root was given out leg before wicket on 32 but the decision was overturned
Second Ashes Test, Adelaide Oval (day four of five)
Australia 442-8d & 138: Anderson 5-43, Woakes 4-36
England 227 & 176-4: Root 67*
England need 178 more runs to win

Captain Joe Root made an unbeaten 67 to keep England in with a slim chance of a remarkable win in the second Ashes Test against Australia in Adelaide.

Root, who overturned being given out lbw and was also dropped, took his side to 176-4 in their chase of 354.

In a thrilling and dramatic evening session, he received support from Dawid Malan, who was bowled by Pat Cummins 10 minutes before the close.

That England are still in the contest is not only down to their fourth-wicket pair, but also to some fine lower-order batting in their first innings and an outstanding bowling display in Australia’s second innings that continued in Tuesday’s first session.

Australia, reduced to 53-4 overnight, were bowled out for 138, with James Anderson claiming his first five-wicket haul in this country.

He was backed up by Chris Woakes’ 4-36 and some excellent catching as no home batsman managed to pass 20.

The tourists’ momentum continued to build as an opening stand of 53 between Mark Stoneman and Alastair Cook brought Australian frustration and English optimism.

But both men fell tamely and James Vince played an awful stroke, leaving Root and Malan to battle through an intense period under the lights.

Root’s continued presence gives England a small chance of pulling off a historic victory on what could be a thrilling final day.

Still, it is more likely that Australia will triumph on Wednesday, go 2-0 up and move to Perth knowing that the Ashes can be regained at the Waca.

History against England

  • England require their highest successful fourth-innings chase in Tests. Their previous best is 332-7 against Australia at Melbourne in 1928.
  • They also have to produce the highest successful chase at the Adelaide Oval, beating the current record of 315-6 by Australia against England in 1902.
  • If England are successful it will be the 10th highest successful fourth-innings chase in Test history.
  • Only South Africa captain Dudley Nourse against Australia in 1950 has previously lost a Test after failing to enforce the follow-on.

Test Match Special analysis

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “My money is still with Australia just because of the history. What England have done is given themselves a sniff. They have given everyone hope.

“There is a real air of positivity because of the way they have come back. Australia captain Steve Smith has to be thinking about 24 hours ago when he didn’t enforce the follow-on. If he had the game would have been done and dusted.”

Former England spinner Phil Tufnell: “What an amazing Test. It was an amazing day – really good for England. They’ve somehow manufactured a chance. It’s been enthralling, every ball. I’ve been down walking around the ground – everyone is on the edge of their seats lapping up the tension.”

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