Australia are in the dominant position in the first Ashes Test against at The Gabba, Brisbane. The hosts need another 56 runs on day five to take 1-0 lead in the series.
England finished at 33/2 with Mark Stoneman and skipper Joe Root unbeaten at the crease. Australia were in hunt and success came soon on day four when Nathan Lyon struck twice to send back Stoneman (27) and Dawid Malan (4)
Root 33rd fifty but didn’t last longer. Josh Hazlewood trapped him lbw for 104-ball 51 runs with 5 fours. Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow came in to salvage pressure. Lyon called problems for England again when he had Ali stumped in a controversial fashion. The all-rounder made 40 runs off 64 balls hitting 6 boundaries.
Mitchell Starc went bang, bang, bang as he took three quick wickets including the one of Bairstow (42). Pat Cummins’ bouncer took off Jake Ball to finish England’s innings for 195 runs in 71.4 overs.
Australia were set a target of 170 runs to win the first Ashes Test match. David Warner and debutant Cameron Bancroft lit up in the run-chase. The visitors were searching for wickets but the new opening partnership denied it.
England had more concerns when Ali was taken out of the attack with a broken index finger. He bowled four overs for 23 runs.
At the end of the day, Australia posted 114 runs in 34 overs. They require 56 runs to win on the final day with all wickets remaining. Warner is unbeaten on 60 runs off just 86 deliveries including 8 fours while impressive Bancroft is on 119-ball 51*.
England 302 & 195 (Root 51, Bairstow 42; Hazlewood 3/46, Starc 3/51)
Australia 328 & 114/0 in 34 overs (Warner 60*, Bancroft 51*)
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com