Cricket-Australia make strides towards victory as England dig in

Written by on January 8, 2022

January 9, 2022

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia remained on course for a 4-0 lead in the Ashes series on Sunday when they reduced England to 122 for three, still 266 runs in arrears, at lunch on the final day of the fourth test.

England skipper Joe Root, who had made 13 not out, and injured all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was unbeaten on 16, will return after the break perhaps hoping that the dark clouds gathering on the horizon might produce some rain.

The tourists had resumed on 13 without loss chasing an unlikely victory target of 388 and Zak Crawley led the resistance at the Sydney Cricket Ground with an authoritative 77 from a hundred balls.

His fellow opener Haseeb Hameed looked less assured at the other end and had already been dropped when he prodded at a Scott Boland delivery and departed for nine to give the paceman his 12th wicket in four test innings.

Dawid Malan had made four when he stepped back to a full-length Nathan Lyon delivery, which skidded on and rattled into the off stump.

Crawley had hit 13 fours in his fifth test half century when Australia all-rounder Cameron Green got under his bat with a yorker.

The batsman reviewed the lbw decision but the DRS video showed the ball had landed plumb on Crawley’s toe as it headed towards the stumps.

Australia lead the series 3-0 after big wins in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. The fifth test will be a day-night match in Hobart.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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