England started the day on 133 for 3 and were bundled out for 281 runs which means they gained a healthy lead of 145 runs. In reply, Australia’s batting collapsed again in the second inning too and they are seven down for mere 168 runs. The game is now looking to be shifting towards home side with only 23 runs visitor’s lead and three lower-order batsmen.
The start for England was not so good as Jonathan Bairstow and Ben Stokes was dismissed in the same over of Johnson. Johnson bowled couple of venomous bouncers to take two scalps. Both batsmen were caught by Peter Nevill behind the stumps. This brought Australia back into the game with England’s lead only 6 runs and only five wickets were left. But as we say that big players perform on big occasion. Joe Root lifted his spirit and scored a magnificent half-century. Root’s 63 was a gold dust, not only for the numbers of run he scored but for the fact that he was one specialist batsmen guiding his team from one side. Root chased a wide delivery to be caught at first slip. Jos Butler was adjudged lbw off Nathan Lyon and he didn’t review that decision when the prediction shown that the ball would have bounced over the stumps. When the ball was getting older, Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad made full use of that and added 87 runs which is the most crucial partnership of the match. This partnership took the game away from the visitors for some extent. England were bowled out for 281 runs before Tea which given England good 15 overs before Tea to attack and they took the wickets of Australia’s two most productive batsmen in this series. For once Chris Rogers failed, and for once Steve Smith was out to a pull-shot.
Smith’s wicket was the start of Finn’s golden spell of 8-1-25-4 either side of tea. Finn was looking confident after couple of wickets in the first inning. Finn was bowling unplayable deliveries constantly that hit the seam, climbed off a length, and zipped past the right handers’ outside edge. Clarke edged to fourth slip where Lyth took a fine low catch off Finn. Voges edged his first ball from Finn to second slip. Mitchell Marsh survived the hat trick delivery but soon castled through the gate. On the other side, David Warner seemed to be batting on some other track. He was superlative in driving the ball through the covers. Finn returned back into the attack to encounter Warner when Warner edged a paddle-pull to be caught at covers. Peter Nevill, more organised than any of Australia’s righthanders apart from Smith, saw his team through to the close. He would have been Broad’s 300th Test wicket if Buttler’s left hand had held on to a chance that Nevill gloved down the legside, but already England had masses to celebrate.