Australia yet again put up a dominant show on Day 4 of the ongoing second Ashes Test against England at Adelaide Oval.
The hosts resumed the fourth day with their overnight score of 45/1, but soon the visitors came back as the Aussies were restricted to 55/4 in the first hour of play.
Nightwatchman Michael Neser (3) was cleaned up by James Anderson, and just a couple of balls later, Stuart Broad sent back Marcus Harris (23). Soon, Ollie Robinson joined the party and dismissed stand-in skipper Steve Smith (6).
However, Travis Head (51) and Marnus Labuschagne (51) steadied the ship for the home team by forming a crucial 89-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Cameron Green remained unbeaten on 33 as Australia declared their second innings at 230/9, giving England a massive target of 468 runs.
Responding to the huge chase, England started terribly with opener Haseeb Hameed getting dismissed for a duck after nicking off to Jhye Richardson in the second over. Dawid Malan, who shined with the bat for the tourists in their first innings, was dropped at first slip by Smith in the 21st over. But only a few balls later, he was trapped in front by debutant Neser.
Richardson, who couldn’t take a single wicket in the first innings, added one more to his tally by removing Rory Burns (34). As if this wasn’t enough, skipper Joe Root (24) fell in the final over of the night.
The visitors will resume the final day of the match at 82/4, needing to survive 90 overs or scoring 386 runs to avoid the defeat.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
The ideal finish to the day for Australia!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 19, 2021
Joe Root’s gone right at the end of the day! After he’d been hit badly and was tough enough to continue – and face Starcy again, who took his wicket. Respect. #Ashes
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) December 19, 2021
Is there a better way to end the day?
Our pink ball king Mitchell Starc got Joe Root on the final ball to leave England 4-82 with a day to play.
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) December 19, 2021
Have felt for Joe Root a lot this tour but none more so than now. Glad to have never felt this kind of pain #Ashes
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) December 19, 2021
2003 – At Lord's against Zimbabwe, James Anderson concedes 17 runs in his first over, which is still the most expensive first over of Test career recorded by a pacer.
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) December 19, 2021
“Maybe a pack of frozen peas on it?””You can use the whole frozen veg section on it maybe?” Some wonderful advice from the Aussie fielders for Joe Root while he received his treatment #Ashes
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 19, 2021
Pacers CAN do everything.😅 #Ashes
— Shikha Pandey (@shikhashauny) December 19, 2021
— Alexandra Hartley (@AlexHartley93) December 19, 2021
Joe Root is England’s second-highest wicket-taker for the series #AUSvENG
— Martin Smith (@martinsmith9994) December 19, 2021
Amazing drama. Root goes to the final ball of the day, to a lovely ball from Starc, having taken his second blow to the groin region of the day a few minutes before. Hammer blow to England's slim hopes.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) December 19, 2021