The Ashes: Australia within 4 wickets of victory against England in 2nd Test

Dec 08 2013, 13:37 IST
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Australian's Steven Smith celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England's Ian Bell during the fourth day of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. (Reuters) Australian's Steven Smith celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of England's Ian Bell during the fourth day of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. (Reuters)
SummaryEngland now have only six wickets in hand to stave off a demoralising defeat.

with a day to spare, as it did in the first test in Brisbane.

Cook's early departure, out hooking Johnson, and the dismissal of Michael Carberry, out hooking Siddle with the total at 20, were offset by the stand between Root and Pietersen – England's first century partnership of the series.

The removal of Pietersen and Ian Bell (6) between lunch and tea was another massive setback for England.

Pietersen played onto his stumps and was dismissed by Siddle for the ninth time in his career – more than any other bowler in test cricket. Bell, who scored a chanceless, unbeaten 72 to prop up England's first innings of 172, could barely believe he hit a rank full toss from part-time legspinner Steve Smith directly to Johnson at mid-on just before tea.

Root, other than flashing outside off stump twice in consecutive overs from Johnson, played with composure belying his age.

Promoted to bat at No. 3 after Jonathan Trott quit the tour with a stress-related illness following the 381-run first test defeat, the 22-year-old Root faced 165 balls until his innings finally ended.

The England middle and lower order has wilted in the face of some fearful fast bowling from Johnson in this series, including a spell of 5-12 off 18 balls from the Australian quick on Saturday, but was better equipped late Sunday.

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