CHESTER-LE-STREET: David Warner’s dashing half-century on the fourth day gave Australia hope of victory in the fourth Ashes Test against England at Chester-le-Street yesterday.
At tea, Australia were 120 for one, needing a further 179 runs to reach their victory target of 299.
Warner was 57 not out, having shared an opening stand of 109 with first-innings century-maker Chris Rogers before his fellow left-hander fell for 49. Usman Khawaja was unbeaten on six.
It looked as if Australia might bat through the second session without losing a wicket until Rogers edged a ball from off-spinner Graeme Swann that gripped and straightened low to Jonathan Trott at first slip.
Meanwhile, Warner added to Swann’s frustration by driving him over long-off for the first six of the match and went on to complete a 74-ball 50, also featuring eight fours.
Earlier, Australia fast-bowler Ryan Harris took a Test-best seven for 117 as England, 234 for five overnight, were dismissed for 330 in their second innings.
Although Ian Bell could only add eight to his overnight 105, England’s total was bolstered by a dashing 45 from Tim Bresnan, who started the day four not out, and Swann’s unbeaten 30, made at better than a run-a-ball.
Queensland fast-bowler Harris took four for 43 with the new ball on Monday after reducing England to 49 for three on Sunday. He then struck twice in two deliveries with the new ball to reduce England to 251 for seven yesterday.
A good length delivery that jagged back and kept low saw Bell bowled off the inside edge for 113, his highest score of the series after he made 109 in both England’s wins at Trent Bridge and Lord’s, to end a near five-hour innings of 210 balls which included 11 fours.
By contrast, Harris’s next ball rose sharply and Matt Prior was bowled off his elbow for a duck.
Stuart Broad survived Harris’s hat-trick attempt.
A flurry of boundaries followed before Harris’s well-directed bouncer had Broad out fending to Steven Smith in the gully.
Bresnan got to within sight of his 50 before he was caught and bowled by Harris after checking a drive.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2013.
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