By Shrikant Shankar
Dec 8, 2013
Australia only need four wickets to win the second Ashes 2013-14 Test at the Adelaide Oval. England are at 247 for six at stumps on Day Four still needing an improbable 284 runs to win. Matt Prior is batting on 31 and Stuart Broad is on 22.
The post-tea session began with England at 143 for four. Mitchell Johnson bowled the first over after the tea break and it was a maiden. Lyon came in from the other end and bowled a couple of long hops. Root hit both the deliveries for a couple of fours behind square-leg.
Stokes got off the mark with a straight drive towards long-on for three of Johnson. Root and Stokes were running quite well between the wickets. Australia wasted a review for an LBW shout against Stokes as there was a bug inside edge onto the pads.
Root looked better as his innings progressed as he punched a short delivery from Johnson off the back-foot for a four through extra-cover. Nathan Lyon then dragged one short and Stokes cut the ball off the back-foot through covers for a four.
But Australia struck again with Lyon dismissing Root for 87. Root got an inside-edge onto his pads and the ball lobbed up in the air. Brad Haddin took a superb diving catch to his right. So, a very good innings from Root came to an end.
After a couple of tight overs, Harris relieved the pressure with four overthrows. Stokes hit the ball back to him and Harris threw the ball in-between Haddin and Michael Clarke and the ball raced away for the boundary.
Prior then gave Lyon the charge and hit a lofted shot over mid-wicket for another four. Stokes hit one from Siddle just in front of George Bailey’s boot at forward short-leg. The ball bounced off his boot and Chris Rogers took the catch at mid-wicket. The umpires reviewed it and it was ruled not out as the ball hit the ground before bouncing off the boot.
Prior then opened the face of his bat to guide a short delivery from Johnson for a four through gully. Stokes swept Steven Smith for four and then played the cut shot to get another four in front of square on the off side.
Australia finally reached the 200-run mark for the first time in the series. The new ball was taken. Harris bowled a straight one and Stokes played a wonderful on-drive for another four. Stokes flicked a single off his thigh pads towards fine-leg. While running he partially collided with Johnson and both the players exchanged a few words before the umpire separated them.
Then Stokes (28) edged an away swinging delivery from Harris to Clarke at second slip. New man Broad flicked a length delivery from Harris for a four towards deep mid-wicket. He then played a lofted drive and got a four towards the long-off region. Broad cut Lyon for a four through cover.
Broad and Prior got themselves a couple of fours each towards the end of the day. Stumps were called and England still needed 284 runs to win. Australia, more likely, need four wickets to win the Test.
Australia 570 for 9 decl. (Chris Rogers 72, Michael Clarke 148, Brad Haddin 118; Stuart Broad 3 for 98) and 132 for 3 decl. (David Warner 83*; James Anderson 2 for 19) lead England 172 (Michael Carberry 60, Ian Bell 72*; Mitchell Johnson 7 for 40) and 247 for 6 (Joe Root 87, Kevin Pietersen 53; Peter Siddle 2 for 21) by 284 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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