A masterclass of pace bowling put Australia on course to go 2-0 up in the Ashes after an England team chasing 371 runs to win was reduced to 114-4 in the second test at Lord’s on Saturday.
READ MORE: Day 4 as it happened
Australia thought it had a fifth wicket 13 minutes before stumps when Mitchell Starc caught Ben Duckett’s ramp on the fine leg boundary. Starc made the catch in both hands but used the ball hand to slow his skid on his knees. That action made the third umpire decide it wasn’t a clean catch.
Duckett was unbeaten on 50 after he also was almost caught in the first over, and captain Ben Stokes on 29.
They rescued England from 45-4 to trail by 257 at stumps.
On an extraordinary fourth day, an injured Nathan Lyon batted in obvious pain for an Australia team struggling to score against a barrage of bouncers, and the tailender helped add 15 runs for the last wicket and pad their lead to 370.
England has successfully chased 371 or more only once in test history, a year ago at Edgbaston against India. But it has never chased so many at Lord’s and it looked increasingly unlikely in front of an audience including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Princes William and George as Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins ripped out the top order.
Zac Crawley was out for 3 in the third over when he feathered an edge off Starc into the safe hands of diving wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
Ollie Pope also went for 3 in the fifth when he was beaten inside by Starc and his middle stump was slammed by an 89 mph (143 kph) inswinger.
Joe Root expertly turned a couple of boundaries off Josh Hazlewood but on 18 he jumped to fend a face-high riser up the slope from Cummins and edged to David Warner at first slip.
Cummins saved an even better delivery in the same over for Harry Brook, whose off stump he knocked for 4.
Duckett was dropped off Starc in the first over by a fully stretched Cameron Green, and advanced to his second fifty of the match. With Stokes, they fashioned an unbroken stand of 69
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