By Abhijit Banare
Dec 16, 2013
England reached 95 for three at tea on Day Four of third Test at Perth as Australia inched closer to a win bagging two wickets in the second session. England are still 409 runs behind their target with four more sessions to go.
It was a fascinating session as England batsmen put up stiff resistance against the in-form Australian pacers. At 24 for one going into lunch, it seemed the visitors could slip anytime in the second session. But Joe Root and Michael Carberry put up a determined fight to avoid a batting collapse. The pair was extremely watchful and released the pressure by taking occasional singles. The pacers were in no mood to be discouraged by the defensive display from the batsmen. Siddle in particular kept his line accurate and tested the batsmen in every over.
Clarke brought in Nathan Lyon to make some use of the rough patches and cracks to apply more pressure. On one of the deliveries, Carberry cam down the track to loft the ball but was lucky that the thick edge flew past Michael Clarke in the slips for a boundary. There were the odd chances that came and went but the two batsmen managed to hold on to their wickets. It was Shane Watson who finally managed to get the big breakthrough removing Carberry for 31. The left-handed batsman committed himself to a shot and the ball clipped his pads on the way to Brad Haddin behind the wicket. A loud appeal ensued and umpire Billy Bowden too his time to adjudge Carberry out.
New batsman Kevin Pietersen too was content playing on the defense resisting from going for his strokes. Apart from the challenge from the bowlers, the batsmen had one eye on the cracks which provided some awkward bounce. Pietersen was unperturbed and looked more assured than his the first innings where he allowed the pacers to tie him down.
Just when it seemed the pair would crawl together till tea, Mitchell Johnson got a breakthrough to wake England up. Pitched full outside off-stump, Root banged his bat into the ground and the ball went past the edge to Haddin who flew towards his right and caught it in front of the slips to bring down England to 76 for three.
Clarke was agile and kept changing his bowlers time and again. He wasted no time in bringing in Siddle when Pietersen arrived to the crease. Though England put up a fighting performance, it was a session to win for Australia with just seven wickets away from a victory.
Australia 385 (David Warner 60, Steve Smith 111, Brad Haddin 55; Stuart Broad 3 for 100, James Anderson 2 for 60) and 369 for 6 decl. (David Warner 112, Shane Watson 103) lead England 251 (Alastair Cook 72, Michael Carberry 43; Ryan Harris 3 for 48, Peter Siddle 3 for 46) and 95 for 3 (Michael Carberry 31, Kevin Pietersen 24; Shane Watson 1 for 8) by 409 runs.
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)
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