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Ashes 1st Test, Day 4: England fight hard, Australia need 174 more to win

After losing two sessions on Day 3, the arch-rivals more than made up for it by playing an exciting brand of cricket. At the end of Day 4, Australia were 107/3, needing 174 more to win on the last day

England celebrate a wicket on Day 4 of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Photo: England Cricket

England celebrate a wicket on Day 4 of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Photo: England Cricket

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Joe Root reverse sweeping the Duke ball on the very first delivery set the tone for the fourth day of the first Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham. At the end of day’s play, Australia were 107/3 with Usman Khawaja and Nightwatchman Scott Boland at the crease, needing 174 more to win the match. 

England not leaving Bazball whatsoever 

Root and Ollie Pope started the day with some outrageous and extravagant hitting. At 28/2 at the end of Day 3 and leading by just 35 runs, other Test nations would have looked to block a few overs. But this England team has only one gear and it is called Bazball. They went on an all-out attack as Pope and Root added 50 in just 47 balls before a lethal yorker from Cummins had the back of the former. 

Harry Brook took over the mantle from Root and Pope as he started the assault on Aussie bowlers. Root gifted his wicket away by dancing down the ground to Lyon and getting stumped by Alex Carey in the process. Brook added 52 with Root and 21 with Ben Stokes before being caught by Labuschagne off Lyon. 

Lower order provide semblance to the total

It seemed as if England would be bowled out below 200, but the lower order was determined to play good cricket. After the fall of Jonny Bairstow with English score reading 196, the last four batters added 77 and helped their team reach a respectable total of 273. With the 7-run first innings lead, the target for Australia was set as 281. 

Khawaja- Warner start in brilliant fashion

Australian openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner started brilliantly, adding 61 for the first wicket before Warner edged one behind off the bowling of Ollie Robinson. But before getting out, Warner showed glimpses of his attacking brilliance in the knock of 36 off 57 balls. Khawaja has remained unbeaten on 34. 

Broad bowls a scintillating spell

After the wicket from Robinson, it was Stuart Broad who brought England back into the game. He exhibited top-class swing bowling to remove world number one and number two batters Marnus Labushcnagne and Steve Smith respectively. Boland survived as Nightwatchman and has so far added 18 with Khawaja for the fourth wicket. 

What would both teams want on Day 5?

The answer to this question is very clear. England would want 7 wickets before conceding the remaining 174 runs, while Australia would look to get those runs anyhow. The last day promises to be a humdinger with conditions predicted to be overcast. There is also a forecast for rain late afternoon. 

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First Published: Jun 20 2023 | 8:36 AM IST

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