11.43 GMT England started the day in a brilliant position but knew full well that they had plenty of work to do get the match won and put themselve back in front in the series. Given England’s historic struggles when it comes cleaning up tail-enders, it was no surprise perhaps that Australia got off to a strong start with Peter Nevill passing fifty and showing the obdurate patience that some of his more experienced team-mates lacked. He did get a couple of lives with close chances but yesterday’s hero Steven Finn finally got the breakthrough when he got Nevill caught down the leg side on the strangle. Australia eight down with a lead of 72.
12.15 One trademark of most Aussie sides is their ability to get the tail wagging, and with Mitchell Starc, whose highest Test score is 99 at the crease, the tourists were quietly content at the prospect of at least posting a challenging total. Starc refused to die wondering and passed fifty with some meaty blows. It also brought up Australia’s lead to 100. Still two wickets to take for England and the pessimists among us would have been fearing the worst.
12.44 Australia lost Josh Hazlewood shortly after the lead passed 100 thanks in no small part to a stunning one-handed catch by Joe Root in the cordon. Nathan Lyon joined Starc at the crease and the pair continued to attack as England looked to take the last wicket. They finally got their reward when Moeen had Lyon caught by the sub fielder. Australia 265 all out and England needing 121 to take a 2-1 lead in the topsy-turvy series.
14.01 Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth came to the crease knowing they had time on their sides but wanted to remain positive. Starc produced a brilliant ball to Cook to remove the England captain with his side 11-1 and the nerves began to jangle. Just when it seemed the momentum would swing in Australia’s favour, their captain Michael Clarke dropped Ian Bell with what can only be described as a regulation slip chance. The resignation on Australia’s face as the ball hit the turf seemed to suggest Australia’s chance of winning went with it.
14.17 With plenty of time in the match and an opportunity to bat time and find form, Lyth did manage not to knick off into the cordon, though he was pinned plumb in front by Lyon. He then spurned a review which showed he was indeed right in front of all three. England wobbling slightly but Root coming to the crease.
15.14 England had never traditionally prospered in small chases, but Bell took the attack to the Aussies and was rewarded with his second half-century of the match. England needing just 33 more runs to win the match.
15.49 In what has been a mesmeric turnaround that has seen the form book thrown out the window, England reached their target through the willow of Joe Root, a win by eight wickets and a 2-1 lead in the series. Remarkable given the mauling they got at headquarters.
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BIOGRAPHY: Hector Bellerin
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