Adelaide: Skipper Joe Root (67 batting, 114b, 9×4) led a spirited English fightback to frustrate Australia and raise hopes of a miracle victory in the gripping second Ashes Test here, Tuesday.
After three days of Australian dominance, Root took up the challenge of a record run chase with an unbeaten half century as the momentum began to shift towards England. In contrast, his counterpart Steve Smith burned two reviews in the space of three balls and put down a tough catch.
At the close of fourth day in the first day-night Ashes Test, England were 176 for four with Root and night-watchman Chris Woakes (five batting) at the crease. The visitors need 178 more runs to win with six wickets in hand on the final day.
The highest fourth innings win at the Adelaide Oval so far is 315 for six by Australia against England in 1902.
Root had a leg before wicket decision on 32 off Nathan Lyon (1/37) overturned on review. Australia then lost their second and last review when Dawid Malan (29, 80b, 4×4) survived an lbw challenge on three off Josh Hazlewood (0/37).
Adding to Smith’s anxiety, he also dropped Malan on eight. Malan put on 78 with Root before he was bowled by Pat Cummins (1/29). Earlier, England lost openers Alastair Cook (16) and Mark Stoneman (36, 65b, 6×4) before the dinner break. The duo added 53 runs.
The Australians were knocked over for 138 at tea but, bolstered by their 215-run innings lead, this left England with a record chase.
England’s all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson (5/43) bagged his first five-wicket haul in Australia and was ably supported by fellow paceman Woakes (4/36).
Australia 442/8 decl and 138 (James Anderson 5/43, Chris Woakes 4/36); England 227 and 176/4 (Joe Root 67 batting). Match to continue.