The Ashes Round-up: Momentum swings to England

Joe Root led England back into a position of strength in Adelaide, as Australia fell cheaply and the captain responded with the bat.

England captain Joe Root scored 67 not out on day four of the Adelaide Test.   -  Getty Images

An unthinkable England victory loomed firmly into the realm of reality as the tourist enjoyed a brilliant fourth day in the Adelaide Test.

England backed up its bowling brilliance of Monday night by skittling Australia for 138 and then moving to 176-4 at stumps, 178 runs shy of a record-breaking run-chase.

THE HEADLINES

- James Anderson took a five-for in Australia for the first time (5-43) and Chris Woakes excelled as Australia failed to take the game away from England.

- Mark Stoneman (36) and Alastair Cook (16) set England a strong base with a 53-run opening stand, before Steve Smith burnt both reviews, as his decision-making came under scrutiny after refusal to enforce follow-on.

- Joe Root ended Tuesday unbeaten on 67 after impressive union with Dawid Malan (29) took England to halfway towards its target.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

Australia captain Steve Smith had no luck on DRS, seeing appeals for caught behind by his opposite number and leg-before on Malan spurned, leaving his attack without assistance on Wednesday.   -  AFP

 

After Root successfully overturned an lbw decision, Smith had no such luck on DRS, seeing appeals for caught behind by his opposite number and leg-before on Malan spurned, leaving his attack without assistance tomorrow.

OPTA FACTS

- Woakes’ figures of 4-36 were his best in Tests away from home.

- In notching his first five-wicket haul in Australia, James Anderson reached 800 wickets in all international cricket.

- Alastair Cook has been dismissed 7 times by Nathan Lyon in Tests, making him his most common victim alongside Cheteshwar Pujara.

- In this innings, Root has been the most attacking (28.9 per cent), made the fewest leaves of established batsmen (15.8 per cent) and played and missed the least (3.1 per cent).

REACTION

England's record wicket-taker Anderson turned the tide with the ball and said using the host's tactics against it was key, telling BT Sport: "We knew they'd try be aggressive, try set up a declaration. But we wanted to bowl them out and all the bowlers did fantastically well."

Read: England have restored pride, says Anderson

Australia's bowlers need some inspiration for day five, assistant coach David Saker, said: "We've still got our noses in front, but it's been an enthralling test. It's game-on tomorrow, which is fantastic for the series but not for the coaches!"

D-DAY SET TO THRILL

The passion seemed to have seeped out of the whole series when Australia moved to the brink of a 2-0 series lead, but the contest has come to life in the last four sessions and Smith is firmly under the microscope.

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