Ashes: Wade’s unbeaten 60 keeps Australia alive (Tea report)
London, Sep 15 (IANS) Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 60 kept England at bay on the second session of the fourth day of the final Ashes Test at The Oval here on Sunday as the visitors lost two wickets but added 99 runs to be at 167/4. While Australia needs 232 to win the series, England are five wickets away from levelling the five-match rubber.
Resuming the afternoon session from 68/3, Australia could only manage to add another 17 runs before Stuart Broad picked his third wicket of the innings to send back Steve Smith on his individual score of 23 runs. Smith tried to tickle a Broad’s length ball round the corner but Ben Stokes dived low to his left at leg gully to take a sharp catch.
Mitchell Marsh (24) and Wade then joined hands and took their side past the three-digit mark to give their team a sigh of relief. However, the 63-run stand was broken by England skipper Joe Root who accounted for the wicket of Marsh to reduce Australia to 148/5.
Wade and his skipper Tim Paine (24 batting) then kept the scorers busy till the umpires called for the Tea break.
Earlier, Broad took out the openers and Jack Leach got Marnus Labuschagne as England continued their march towards a series levelling win.
Australia took just over four overs to wipe out whatever remained of England’s tail from the previous day. Pat Cummins dismissed Jofra Archer, while Nathan Lyon got Jack Leach and Broad, finishing with four wickets in the innings.
Broad started the England attack, with David Warner and Marcus Harris opening for Australia. Warner, who has been dismissed six times in the last nine innings by Broad, struggled for the majority of his stay against his tormentor and Archer.
But it was his partner who was dismissed by Broad first, off the last ball of the fifth over with Harris losing his off stump that went cartwheeling after the ball missed his outside edge and struck the stumps unimpeded. Warner fell in the very next over of Broad, edging one to slip where Rory Burns took a good catch making it the seventh time in the series that Warner has fallen to Broad.
Jack Leach then got the big wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. Leach lured Labuschagne forward but the delivery beat his edge and went to Jonny Bairstow who broke the stumps and England appealed. Replays showed that Labuschagne’s backfoot had dragged outside the crease and he had to walk off.
Matthew Wade had earlier nearly edged one off Leach to the keeper in the last over of the morning session.
Brief scores: England 294 and 329 (Joe Denly 94, Ben Stokes 67; Nathan Lyon 4/69), Australia 225 and 167/5 (Matthew Wade 60 batting, Mitchell Marsh 24; Stuart Broad 3/40) need 232 runs to win