The Ashes 2017-18

Joe Root gives England hope in record Ashes run chase as Adelaide test hangs in balance

Tourists finish up 176-4 as they hunt down 354 for unlikely win in the second Ashes test against Australia

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 December, 2017, 7:51pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 December, 2017, 7:50pm

After another day of swinging momentum, England finished 176-4 as they chased down a record 354 run target to secure an improbable win in the first day-night Ashes test at the Adelaide Oval.

Skipper Joe Root was not out on 67 with nightwatchman Chris Woakes on 5 at the close of play. Woakes entered the fray after Australia’s Pat Cummins took the late wicket of England’s Dawid Malan, who had followed Alastair Cook (16), Mark Stoneman (36) and James Vince (15) back into the clubhouse in the tourists’ second innings.

Earlier in the day Jimmy Anderson gave England an outside chance with his best haul ever Down Under, claiming 5-47 to restrict Australia’s second innings to 138.

The 35-year-old Anderson and Woakes (4-36) exploited the extra swing and seam with the pink ball, starting with two wickets each under the lights on Monday night, and continuing in the same fashion on day four to ensure no Australian batsman surpassed 20 in the second innings.

That left England needing to beat their record for a successful fourth-innings run chase – 332-7 in Melbourne in 1928 – to win the second test after losing the opener in Brisbane last week by 10 wickets.

England lost two wickets in the evening session, which started with a lucky reprieve after Cook was given not out to an lbw appeal when Josh Hazlewood hit him on the pads directly in front of the stumps.

The Australians decided not to review the decision, and ball tracking technology showed they should have.

Cook went on to make a scratchy 16 from 66 balls before off-spinner Nathan Lyon again trapped him lbw but did not get the umpire’s decision.

The Australians reviewed it this time and the television umpire overturned the decision, making England 53-1.

Aussies opt against follow on in Ashes before struggling to 53-4 after dismissing England for 227

Stoneman, who had confidently stroked Mitchell Starc for three consecutive boundaries to get off the mark, was out with the addition of one to the total when he sliced the same bowler to Usman Khawaja at gully.

The loss of two more wickets – Vince and Malan – in the final session leaves the test finely balanced going into its final day.