Ashes, Adelaide Test (D/N): Australia on the cusp of victory
Australia are on the cusp of a second consecutive victory in the 2021/22 Ashes at the Adelaide Oval (Day/Night). England lost four wickets while chasing 468 on Day 4. The Aussies declared for the second time in the Test (230/9). Marnus Labuschagne (51) and Travis Head (51) headlined their innings with resounding knocks. Here is the Day 4 report.
Australia resumed from their overnight score of 45/1. James Anderson and Stuart Broad made early inroads in the Australian batting line-up. However, Labuschagne and Head shared an 89-run stand. An impressive cameo from Cameron Green (33*) guided the hosts to 230/9 d. England have lost Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Rory Burns, and Joe Root in the second innings. They finished on 82/4 at stumps.
Labuschagne continued his amazing run in the 2021/22 Ashes. He shone in the second innings after slamming his sixth Test ton in the first. The top-order batter came out in the middle when Australia were tottering on 48/2. Unlike the first innings, he launched an astounding counter-attack. Labuschagne smashed his 12th half-century in Test cricket. He was dismissed on 51 (96).
All-rounder Travis Head duly supported Labuschagne in the second innings. He slammed his eighth half-century, scoring 51 off 54 balls. For England, skipper Root was the pick of bowlers. He scalped two wickets for 27 runs. Ollie Robinson and Dawid Malan too picked up a couple of wickets each. Anderson conceded just eight runs in 10 overs, delivering six maidens (one wicket).
Jhye Richardson gave Australia an early breakthrough in the form of Hameed. Malan and Burns kept England afloat before Michael Neser removed the former. Burns too departed eventually. English skipper Joe Root displayed sheer resilience in the final session. He also survived a few blows while keeping England alive in the hunt. However, Mitchell Starc got rid of him in the day's final over.
The highest successful run-chase in Test cricket is 418/7 by West Indies against Australia in May 2003. Although England have a laborious road ahead, they could script history. The visitors still require 386 runs to win the second Test.