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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

England 3-1 to complete unlikely comeback victory in Adelaide

Tourists require 178 to win second Ashes Test

Joe Root and Chris Woakes starred as England fought back on day four of the Second Ashes Test
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Day five 3.30am Wednesday

England are 3-1 to level the Ashes series after ending a pulsating fourth day in Adelaide 178 runs from victory with six wickets remaining.

Joe Root's men continued where they left off on Tuesday, bowling out Australia for just 138 from an overnight position of 53-4 as James Anderson claimed five wickets and Chris Woakes took 4-36.

That left the tourists chasing an Adelaide Oval record 354 runs to complete an improbable victory.

Openers Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman made a promising start, putting on 53 for the first wicket before Cook was trapped in front by the threatening off-spin of Nathan Lyon for 16.

Stoneman quickly followed for 36 after being snared by Usman Khawaja off the bowling of Mitchell Starc. And when the left-armer struck again to remove James Vince (15), England were in trouble at 91-3.

But captain Root, who overturned an lbw decision and was dropped, offered stiff resistance with Dawid Malan in a fourth-wicket stand of 78 before Malan was bowled by Pat Cummins with nine minutes of the day remaining.

Night-watchman Woakes and Root (67 not out) held firm under the lights and England will resume on 176-4 on day five.

Root's continued presence at the crease will be crucial if his side are to complete a remarkable turnaround as will negating off-spinner Lyon whose turn and bounce posed England's left-handers in particular plenty of questions. 

Bet365 make Root a 100-30 chance to be man of the match with Woakes 66-1. Shaun Marsh is the 4-7 favourite with Lyon 4-1 and Starc 9-1.

Root is 10-11 to score a century with the same firm (and 10-11 to fall short), while Woakes is 7-1 to score a half-century.

Australia are 2-7 to take a 2-0 lead heading to Perth.

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Root's continued presence at the crease will be crucial if his side are to complete a remarkable turnaround
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