England three wickets away from Sydney Ashes Test glory

Thursday, January 6, 2011

SYDNEY - England is only three wickets away from winning the Ashes series 3-1 following another brilliant performance by their bowlers on day four of the fifth and final Test against Australia being played in Sydney.

Australia were 213-7 at the close of the day’s play with Steve Smith (24 not out) and Peter Siddle (17 not out) at the crease.

The home team still needs another 151 runs to make England bat again.

The first breakthrough was a bonus for England, as Shane Watson (38) was run out following a breakdown in communication with Phillip Hughes (13), the BBC reports.

Hughes’s miserable series continued when he nicked a good delivery from Tim Bresnan (2-32) to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Debutant Usman Khawaja (21) and stand-in captain Michael Clarke (41) played cautiously and added 65 runs before James Anderson (2-50) dismissed both the batsmen to derail the home team again.

Bresnan was next to strike when Michael Hussey (12) picked out Kevin Pietersen at gully with a misdirected cut shot.

Chris Tremlett (2-53) too got in on the act by taking wickets with consecutive deliveries, as Brad Haddin (30) edged one testing delivery to Prior before Mitchell Johnson (0) was bowled first ball.

Earlier in the day, England converted an overnight 488-7 into 644, their highest Test total on Australian soil.

Much of the credit for England’s position of strength must go to Prior, who scored his maiden Ashes century.

Australia’s bowlers laboured fruitlessly in the first session as Prior (118) and Bresnan (35) put on 102 for the eighth wicket.

Graeme Swann finished unbeaten on 36, while Tremlett was dismissed for 12, ending a 35 run last wicket stand.

England has a 2-1 series lead, and has already retained the Ashes.

A victory on Friday will give the visitors their first Test series win in Australia since the 1986-87 tour. (ANI)

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