- Matt Skilton
The Ashes - Australia v England
Fourth Test Day Four Recap
Australia knocked over England quickly in the morning session on day four of the fourth Ashes test, taking a 122-run lead into the second innings of the fourth Ashes Test. England troubled Australia, putting them into a tough position at 4/86 before Khawaja and Green combined together at the crease for a 179-run stand that steadied the Australian ship. Khawaja clinched twin tons for the first time in his Test career with an unbeaten 101, while Green posted 74 before falling to Jack Leach. Australia eventually declared at 6/265 and sent England in to bat in tricky conditions. Hameed and Crawley built a 30-run stand before stumps, which was the highest opening partnership for the tourists in the series so far. Australia will look to seize a 4-0 series lead on a dry pitch on the final day, providing the weather holds off.
· Australia took a 122-run lead into the second innings after knocking England over for 294 runs
· England had Australia in trouble at 4/86 before Khawaja and Green put up a 179-run stand
· Khawaja put up twin tons after an unbeaten 101 in the second innings
· Green scored 74, his second 50 at the SCG
· Australia set England a target of 388 after declaring at 6/265
· England set their highest opening partnership of the series at 30, the previous was 23 runs
It didn’t take Australia long to knock England over in the morning session of day four. Leach was the first to go, falling to his spinning counterpart Nathan Lyon. Jonny Bairstow anchored the innings well yesterday and reach a total of 113 before he fell to the home side’s newest hero Scott Boland. Boland then cleaned up Broad, who skied the ball, with the catch being taken by Carey. The Victorian ended with 4/36 and is now averaging just over 10 with the ball in test cricket.
Australia came out intending to score with the tourists reeling from injuries to Stokes, Bairstow, and Buttler, the latter two would not step onto the field. The plan didn’t go to plan with Mark Wood nicking off David Warner on what was more of a half shot. Labuschagne and Harris built a gritty 40-run stand through the new ball period, but it was Jack Leach who broke it up, sending the other Aussie opener back to the sheds on a superb catch from substitute keeper Ollie Pope. Smith and Labuschagne then survived pushing Australia’s score to 2/66 at the lunch break.
Labuschagne didn’t stick around for long after the lunch break, the Queenslander was drawn into a false shot by Mark Wood – the third time Wood has dismissed Labuschagne this series – with the chance caught by Ollie Pope. Leach came out with the plan of taking wickets during the second innings. The English tweaker picked up his second when he knocked over Steve Smith on a ball that went straight on, leaving Australia in a difficult position at 4/86. Khawaja and Green steadied the ship for their country, scoring 63 of the team’s 83 runs for the session as they started to go through the gears on the stroke of lunch.
Australia resumed at 4/149 in the final session and continued where they left off, moving through gears as they searched for quick runs. Cameron Green seemed to sort his batting woes out, picking up a second half-century at the SCG. But once again, it was Usman Khawaja’s session, for the first time the Queensland captain posted twin centuries in a test match as he ended the innings unbeaten on 101 off 138 deliveries. Green eventually fell after top-edging Leach, with the catch being secured by the skipper Joe Root. Alex Carey lasted one delivery, edging the ball to Ollie Pope down the leg side, Jack Leach was left stranded on a hattrick after Pat Cummins denied the English spinner the opportunity, when he declared at 6/265, setting the tourists a target of 388 runs to win.
Australia came out attacking the stumps in the final over of the day, in what were tricky conditions for Hameed and Crawley. Both openers played with solid defense as they looked to survive into the final day. A chance was created from the pitch’s steep bounce when the ball came off the shoulder of Crawley’s and went over the slips for four. That boundary also meant the pair set England’s highest opening partnership of the series. The England opening pair will head out to the crease at 0/30, with the tourists still requiring a further 358 runs to take victory on the final day of play.
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.
England XI: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Matt Skilton is a multimedia sports journalism graduate and covers all of your sports needs at ThePyrrhic.com. Keep watching for recaps, analysis, trade news, and more!
Follow Matt on Twitter @MSkilton16
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