Ashes 2013: Australia chase 299 as Test heads towards interesting finale

Ryan Harris (right) picked up seven wickets © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Aug 12, 2013

The fourth Test of the Ashes 2013 at Chester-le-Street is moving towards an intriguing finale on Day Four. Australia fought back today after Ian Bell’s century, but the hosts were in the game with their tail extending their challenge. As things stand, Australia need 288 more to win this game and to break their victory drought in Test cricket.

England resumed the day on 234 for five and Ian Bell’s ton had put them in a strong position. Yesterday, Ryan Harris was the man doing the damage and he continued his rampaging form today. Although, he ran into an in form Bell and Kevin Pietersen yesterday, he was determined to make a mark. Early in the day, he got one to move back and it broke through Bell’s defence. One may have felt that it may have kept a little low, but it was a wicket the Aussies were looking for.

Matt Prior walked out to join Bresnan, but he dragged the first one back onto his stumps to hand Harris a fifer. The stage was set for a hat-trick and Harris ran in to bowl to Stuart Broad — who defended it calmly. In the overs that followed, Broad and Bresnan wielded the willow to strike a few boundaries and troubled the Australian bowled. Broad thenfell as he was surprised by a short ball from Harris and was caught at gully.

The boundaries kept coming and the England tail kept wagging. Bresnan kept attacking and even smashed Bird for three fours in an over. The ninth wicket pair put up 42 before Bresnan was out for 45. Nathan Lyon finished things off when he had Anderson caught behind for naught. England were bowled out for 330, leaving Australia with 299 to win.

The target of 299 isn’t going to be easy with the ball doing a lot in the centre. David Warner and Chris Rogers have started Australia’s challenge and Australia have gone into lunch at 11 for no loss.
Brief scores:

England 238 ( Alastair Cook 51; Nathan Lyon 4 for 42) and 330 (Ian Bell 113; Ryan Harris 7 for 117) lead Australia 270 (Chris Rogers 110; Stuart Broad 5 for 71) and 11 for no loss (Chris Rogers 5*) by 288 runs.

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)