England batsmen Joe Root and Chris Woakes leave the ground at stumps on day four in Adelaide
England will need to score 178 more runs tomorrow if they are to secure victory against Australia in Adelaide and level the Ashes series at 1-1.
Captain Joe Root scored 67 not out as England finished the fourth day on 176-4, chasing the Australian total of 354.
Australia started the day’s play on 53-4 in their second innings but were skittled out by the English bowlers for 138. James Anderson (5-43) and Chris Woakes (4-36) were dominant as no Australia batsman scored more than 20.
Set a total of 354 to win – a record chase for the Adelaide Oval – England started well with openers Mark Stoneman and Alastair Cook putting on a stand of 53. But with the score at 53-1, Cook fell for 16 when trapped LBW by Nathan Lyon and Stoneman departed for 36 soon after.
James Vince (15) left Root to be partnered by Dawid Malan. The pair batted well under the lights in a final evening session described by the BBC as “thrilling and dramatic”.
STUMPS on a brilliant day of #Ashes cricket!
England require 178 more runs to win. Bring on day 5!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 5, 2017
Ten minutes before stumps, Malan was bowled by Pat Cummins for 29 so Root and nightwatchman Woakes will be tasked with leading the charge.
Tomorrow’s final day in Adelaide won’t just bring a result in the second Test but could have a huge bearing on the Ashes series overall. If England win, they level the series at 1-1, if Australia are victorious they can take back the Ashes with victory in the next Test in Perth.
While Root is under pressure to score big on the final day in Adelaide, his counterpart Steve Smith is also under the spotlight for his decision not to enforce the follow-on and for a couple of review decisions that went against him.
A reason why the The Barmy Army are the best fans in the world %uD83D%uDE02
Steve Smith has used up all of his reviews and they love it…so does Joe Root %uD83D%uDE02#Ashes
%uD83D%uDCFA BT Sport 1 HD pic.twitter.com/2BBydfXJfM
— The Ashes on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) December 5, 2017
Anderson, whose five-wicket haul was his first in Australia, told the BBC that England have battled well to get back in the Test match.
“It is pretty even,” he said. “We definitely would have taken this position after the first two or three days. We have fought really hard to get back in the game.
“We followed on from last night really well as a group and fought really hard with the bat. We spoke about not doing ourselves justice with the bat in the first innings but we have shown what we can do.
“We are a good amount of runs short but are in a fantastic position. We have got batters in the shed to get us close.”
Jimmy Anderson was refreshingly honest when asked about batting on day five %uD83D%uDE02
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 5, 2017
One-nil down after a ten-wicket defeat in Brisbane, England looked dead and buried early in the second Test in Adelaide but their fightback has at least given the Barmy Army and watching fans some cause for optimism.
Speaking on BBC Test Match Special, former England skipper Michael Vaughan believes Australia remain favourites to win.
“My money is still with Australia just because of the history,” he said. “What England have done is given themselves a sniff. They have given everyone hope.
“There is a real air of positivity because of the way they have come back. Australia captain Steve Smith has to be thinking about 24 hours ago when he didn’t enforce the follow-on. If he had the game would have been done and dusted.”
2nd Ashes Test: start time and TV coverage
What time does the 2nd Ashes Test start tomorrow?
Tomorrow’s action in the fifth and final day at The Adelaide Oval starts at 3.30am (UK time).
How to watch the 2nd Ashes Test on TV
BT Sport has exclusive rights to the Ashes and will show every ball live from Australia. For radio listeners, BBC Test Match Special will provide ball-by-ball commentary of all Tests on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and Radio 4 LW.
Ashes 2017 fixtures and results: Australia vs. England
Ashes Test matches (GMT start times)
- 1st Test, Brisbane: Australia won by ten wickets
- 2-6 December: 2nd Test at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (day-night Test; 3.30am)
- 14-18 December: 3rd Test at the Waca, Perth (2.30am)
- 26-30 December: 4th Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (11.30pm)
- 4-8 January: 5th Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (11.30pm)
- 14 January: 1st ODI at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (3.20am)
- 19 January: 2nd ODI at Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane (4.20am)
- 21 January: 3rd ODI at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (3.20am)
- 26 January: 4th ODI at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (3.50am)
- 28 January: 5th ODI at the Perth Stadium in Perth (6.20am)