Ashes 2015 - England vs Australia tea report: Aussies start to crumble as England close in on reclaiming the urn

Tea - Australia trail by 193 runs

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Australia eroded England’s large lead during the afternoon session on the second day of the fourth Test. But the faintest glimmer of hope that they could create a remarkable turnaround disappeared with the loss of three wickets shortly before tea.

England made huge progress towards regaining the Ashes by taking four of Australia’s wickets before tea on the second day of the fourth Test. After being delayed by a partnership of 113 for the first wicket which promised briefly to prompt the thought that there might be a remarkable turnaround they suddenly fashioned a series of breakthroughs.

Ben Stokes took three of the wickets to fall with an incisive spell of swing bowling and Stuart Broad, brought back into the attack specifically for the purpose, removed the tourists’ leading batsman Steve Smith.

By tea Australia were 138 for 4, still trailing by 193 runs after England had declared on 391 for 9 shortly before lunch. England were kept waiting because having caught everything on offer on the first day, they spilled two slip catches and were also denied a wicket when Mark Wood because bowled a no ball.


David Warner was twice reprieved. He was dropped by Alastair Cook at first slip, edging a ball from Stuart Broad on 10 and then less culpably on 42 by Ian Bell moving low to his right at second slip. The other opener, Chris Rogers, seemed to have been undone by a brutal lifter from Wood which Joe Root took gloriously at third slip but replays showed that Wood had overstepped the line. It was the second time in Tests that he had been denied a wicket because of it.

Just when it seemed England would be wicketless in the session, Stokes intervened. Causing problems for both left-handers from round the wicket he had Rogers wonderfull caught by Root, plunging to his left at third slip,  and then removed Warner who tried to turn the ball to leg and was caught at mid-on. Warner had made the same mistake in Birmingham.

Shaun Marsh lasted only six balls before he pushed hard at a ball from Stokes outside off and also edged to third slip for a more straightforward snaffle by Root. England’s joy was unconfined when Smith drove hard at a ball moving away and was caught low down by Stokes at point.