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England hang on as Australia push for second Test victory
Publicado: 20/12/2021

England hang on as Australia push for second Test victory

Adelaide (Australia) (AFP) -

England grimly hung on to reach tea on day five of the second Ashes Test at 180 for eight Monday, needing to get through one more session to salvage an unlikely draw.

The visitors resumed the pink ball Test in deep trouble at 82 for four chasing a nominal 468 to win and needing a miracle to avoid going 2-0 down in the five-Test series.

They lost two more wickets in the opening session, with Ben Stokes, who had scored 12, and Ollie Pope on four succumbing to relentless pressure from left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Starc and off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

But Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes dug in, frustrating Australia in a 61-run stand before Jhye Richardson clattered Woakes' stumps when he had reached 44.

Ollie Robinson joined Buttler in the rearguard action and did well to last 39 balls before Steve Smith took a sharp catch at slip off Lyon and he departed for eight.

At tea in the day-night encounter, Buttler remained unbeaten on 25 off a dogged 196 balls and Stuart Broad was on 0, with 288 runs behind and needing to negotiate 26 tricky overs in a final session under lights with twilight falling.

England slumped to defeat by nine wickets in the first Test at Brisbane and if they fail to hold out their hopes of winning back a trophy they last secured on Australian turf in 2010-11 are all but over.

Joe Root's men will head to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test starting Sunday knowing that the only instance of a team coming from 2-0 down to win the Ashes was by Australia in 1936-37.

With Root, the world's number one Test batsmen, removed by Starc in the final over on Sunday evening, England's hopes appeared to rest with all-rounder Stokes.

The 30-year-old has so often rescued his team, with memories of his match-winning exploits against Australia at Headingley in 2019 to keep that series alive still fresh.

He put his head down and lasted 77 balls for 12 runs before Lyon struck. The umpire initially ruled the lbw appeal not out, but Australia and reviewed and it was shown to be plumb in front.

Pope lasted only seven balls, edging to Smith at slip off Starc for four to go with his disappointing first innings' five.

But Buttler, Woakes and Robinson put the shutters down, riding their luck as they attempted to run down the clock.

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