England are staring at defeat in the first Test with Australia needing just 56 to win
England are on the brink of a resounding defeat in the first Ashes Test after Australia dominated the fourth day’s play.
The hosts closed on 114 without loss in pursuit of just 170 to win after England were bowled out for 195 in their second innings.
David Warner (60 not out) and his debutant opening partner Cameron Bancroft (51no) both bagged half-centuries for Australia, while England failed to build on a half-century from captain Joe Root (51) to set a competitive total.
Moeen Ali’s dismissal, stumped after the tightest of third-umpire rulings amid mutterings about a bulge in the hand-painted popping crease counting against him, did not help England – who lost their last five wickets for 40.
Joe Root reached his half-century off 103 balls but was out shortly afterwards.
Australia were on top as they reduced England to 119 for five at the interval.
There was plenty of talk about Moeen Ali’s controversial dismissal, stumped by Tim Paine off Nathan Lyon, with mutterings about a bulge in the hand-painted popping crease counting against him but was it out?
BBC Test Match Special producer Henry Moeran questions the application of the popping crease.
And the Daily Telegraph’s cricket writer Nick Hoult quips that issues with the whitewash is a regular problem for England in Australia.
But Mooen himself had few complaints about the decision to give him out.
After Moeen trudged off Australia removed the dangerous Jonny Bairstow and the hosts then wasted little time in bringing an end to the England innings.
Former England captain turned TV pundit Michael Vaughan was obviously getting thirsty as England toiled in Brisbane.
Vaughan, though, is not confident about England’s hopes in Australia after a trying fourth day.
As England ran out of ideas against the Australia openers, James Anderson tried a new tactic.
Australia turned the screw in the final session as David Warner and Cameron Bancroft both moved past 50 to take the hosts to the brink of victory.
TV host Piers Morgan was not impressed with the attitude on display from England.
Former Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson, England’s chief tormentor on their last Ashes tour, was quick to priase the fourth-day performance from his countrymen.
Johnson’s former team-mate Shane Warne went out a limb predicting an Australian win!
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