Ashes: England leads Australia by 162 with 5 wickets left 

Only three teams have made more than 200 to win in the fourth innings of a Test at Edgbaston, with the highest such total being England's 378-3 against India last year.
Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates with Australia's Alex Carey after dismissing England's Harry Brook. (Photo | AP)
Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates with Australia's Alex Carey after dismissing England's Harry Brook. (Photo | AP)

BIRMINGHAM: England attacked from the first ball on Monday and Australia struck back by taking three wickets as the hosts went to lunch at 155-5 on the fourth day of the Ashes opener, for an overall lead of 162 runs. 

England captain Ben Stokes (13 not out) and wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow (1 not out) are at the crease. 

Joe Root made England's intentions clear at the start of play by unsuccessfully trying to reverse-ramp Australia captain Pat Cummins (2-33). Both Root and Harry Brook were dismissed for 46 at close to run-a-ball pace. 

Cummins started the session by finishing his interrupted over from Sunday after rain limited England to 28-2 in only 10.3 overs. 

Root's attempt to lift the ball over the wicketkeeper's head didn't work against Cummins but it did in the next over against Scott Boland. That six was immediately followed by another four with the same stroke before Australia got fed up and put a fielder on the boundary. 

Root tried to reverse-ramp Cummins once more in the 18th, again unsuccessfully, with Root then practising the highly unorthodox stroke between deliveries. 

Root and Ollie Pope shared a 50-run partnership for the third wicket before Cummins' superb inswinger claimed Pope for 14. More importantly for Australia, spinner Nathan Lyon (2-34) deceived Root while advancing down the wicket and he was stumped by Alex Carey. 

It was a crucial wicket for the visitors. Root has averaged more than 70 since giving up his troubled captaincy to Stokes, and he is thriving under the new era of "Bazball" attacking cricket. Marnus Labuschagne caught Brook off Lyon. 

Some rain is expected Tuesday morning but the afternoon forecast has improved.

Moeen Ali who has a finger injury after coming out of an almost two-year test retirement, bowled 33 overs in Australia's first innings. 

Australia scored 386 in its first innings, with 141 from Usman Khawaja, in reply to England's 393-8 declared. 

England's lunch was almost ruined by Bairstow being given out leg before against Boland in the final over but he successfully reviewed. 

While England's lead is growing, Australia has the three top-ranked test batters in Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Travis Head. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
The New Indian Express