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As it happened: Australia vs England, 4th Test, Day 3

Cricketnext Staff,Cricketnext
Dec 28, 2013 at 01:07pm IST

(For ball-by-ball commentary, scroll down to the bottom of the page)

Day 2 round-up: England strangled Australia's batting to seize control of the fourth Ashes Test on a low-scoring second day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday. The beleaguered tourists, with the Ashes already lost, boosted their chances of averting a 5-0 series clean sweep with a rare rewarding day in the field as they defended what had appeared to be a below-par first innings total of 255.

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But disciplined bowling and fielding stifled Australia's scoring and with it the wickets tumbled to put the home side under pressure on a slow-paced MCG pitch. At the close, Australia were 164 for 9, trailing England by 91 runs with Brad Haddin on an unbeaten 43.

As it happened: Australia vs England, 4th Test, Day 3

Chasing 231 to win the fourth Test, Australian openers Warner and Rogers took Australia to 30 for 0 at stumps on day three.

England were restricted in their first innings by a hostile spell from Mitchell Johnson, but the Australians also laboured for runs with veteran opener Chris Rogers crawling to his third half-century of the series and wicketkeeper Haddin again defying England.

Commentary (Australia 2nd Innings)

That's it from us then. Boxing Day Test is done and dusted. Join us again for the New Year's Test which starts from 3rd January 2014. Can England come back and start afresh? Or will there be a straight fifth win for Australia? Join us again to find out. Until then, good bye and take care!

Michael Clarke says he never imagined to take this big a lead, to be 4-0 up is an amazing feeling. Adds that the confidence of the players has been upbeat. Credits the boys for the way they've played. Adds he had interesting conversation with Mark Taylor about the toss where he elected to bowl first. Says the fear or the doubt of winning is up and down throughout the game. He was fortunate enough to have the attack to go after England. Adds Haddin deserves wonderful accolades for his batting efforts. Adds that if he continuously gets the same support, it'll be good and Australia would be eyeing for the 5-0 clean sweep.

Man of the Match - Mitchell Johnson says there was a little bit of swing around with the new ball and there was reverse swing in the second innings and that is something they should work as a team. Adds plenty of people have been helping him in the past. Without his teammates' support, he wouldn't have been standing out in the middle. Thanks the crowd for coming in.

Alastair Cook says it's tough time to lose a game in cricket. Adds England failed to build a lead and in first half an hour today they created chances but didn't grab. Says they're not quite happy and have one more challenge to come in Sydney. Admits that plans do come off but when they don't come off, they don't. Ends up by saying that they got into a position to win this game but they should dust it off and concentrate on the last game.

Rogers and Watson shared a hundred plus run stand and England were totally hammered. Another fantastic performance from Australia and the team is absolutely ecstatic! The Boxing Day Test turned out to be another successful one which saw a record crowd on day 1. England have lots to ponder, they were poor in all the departments. They need to sort it out else they will be whitewashed.

Australia's batting didn't click that well in the first innings but fifties from Rogers and Haddin helped Australia get past the 200-run mark. England started off slowly in their second innings but this time, Nathan Lyon was the hero with the ball as he grabbed a 5-for. Australia were left chasing 231 runs. Rogers and Warner gave a strong start before Warner edged one to the keeper.

Australia are unstoppable. They go 4-0 up at the 'G. After securing the Ashes in Perth, questions were asked if they can make it a 5-0 whitewash and today, they have taken one more step towards achieving that goal. Australia started this game by winning the toss once again but Clarke decided to bowl first on this occasion. England were off to a decent start but it was another Mitchell Johnson show in the first innings that sparked an England collapse.

51.5 M Panesar to Watson, Australia win by 8 wickets and take a 4-0 lead! On middle, Watson comes down the track and flicks it through square leg for a couple. 231/2

51.4 M Panesar to Watson, On middle and off, Watson comes down the track and blocks that one. 229/2

51.3 M Panesar to Clarke, On middle, Clarke comes down the track and flicks it through mid-wicket for a single. 229/2

51.2 M Panesar to Watson, On middle, Watson pushes it back to the bowler. And there's another misfield, Panesar fails to stop the ball and allows a single. 228/2

51.1 M Panesar to Watson, Length ball outside off, Watson tries to cut that one but gets beaten completely. 227/2

50.6 Tim Bresnan to Clarke, Length ball around off, Clarke defends it watchfully. 227/2

50.5 Tim Bresnan to Watson, Shortish around off, Watson pulls it through mid-wicket and takes a single. Australia need four runs to win now. 227/2

50.4 Tim Bresnan to Watson, Play and a miss! Outside off, Watson goes for the heave but fails to put his bat on the ball. 226/2

50.3 Bresnan to Watson, FOUR! Superb shot! Outside off, Watson smokes it straight down the ground. Brutally hit, the ball races away to the boundary rope. 226/2

50.2 Tim Bresnan to S Watson, Outside off, Watson cuts it to point. 222/2

50.1 Bresnan to S Watson, In the air... and just safe! Landed outside off, Watson goes hard at that one but mistimes it completely and gets a top edge. The ball goes high up in the air and Anderson runs behind from covers. The ball lands in front of him and stops the ball with a tumbling effort. Two runs taken. 222/2

Bresnan back on.

49.6 M Panesar to Clarke, Comes forward and offers a straight bat. End of the over. 11 needed to win. 220/2

49.5 M Panesar to Clarke, Flighted on middle, Clarke comes forward and defends it back. 220/2

49.4 M Panesar to Clarke, Goes back deep and cuts it but doesn't beat point. 220/2

49.3 M Panesar to Clarke, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 220/2

49.2 M Panesar to Clarke, Skips down the track and hacks across the line toward mid-wicket. 220/2

49.1 M Panesar to Watson, Charges down the track and whacks it down to long on only for a single. 220/2

48.6 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Clarke has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 219/2

48.5 Ben Stokes to Clarke, The batsman just manages to keep the yorker out. Good ball bowled by the bowler. 219/2

8,000 Test runs for Michael Clarke.

48.4 Ben Stokes to Clarke, FOUR! Clarke gets his first boundary! Short outside off, Clarke cuts it hard past point for a boundary. Just 12 to get now. 219/2

48.3 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Full and straight, driven straight to mid on. 215/2

48.2 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Clarke has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery. 215/2

48.1 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Stays back and pushes it to covers. 215/2

Drinks Break!

47.6 M Panesar to Watson, FOUR! Watson taking it to Monty! Shimmies down again, takes it on the full and drills it hard down the ground. Broad at long on makes a spirited effort to stop it but fails. 16 to win now. 215/2

47.5 M Panesar to Watson, On the pads, flicked to square leg. 211/2

47.4 M Panesar to Watson, FOUR! Make that 20 now! Watson dances down the pitch and whacks this through mid-wicket for back to back boundaries. 211/2

47.3 M Panesar to Watson, FOUR! Watson looks to finish it off in a hurry! Flatter and quicker on the stumps, a but short too, Watson hangs back and late-cuts this past backward point. 24 to win. 207/2

47.2 M Panesar to Clarke, Stays back deep, carves this to point and takes a single to get off the mark. 203/2

47.1 M Panesar to Watson, Shimmies down the track and bunts it down to long on for a single. 202/2

46.6 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Bit fuller around off, Clarke comes forward and defends. 201/2

46.5 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Clarke shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot. 201/2

46.4 Ben Stokes to Clarke, On a length that stays a touch low, Clarke is able to place it to point. 201/2

46.3 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Goes back and dabs this to point. 201/2

46.2 Ben Stokes to Clarke, Back of a length on middle, Clarke goes back and defends. 201/2

46.1 Ben Stokes to Watson, On the pads, helped down to deep square leg for a single. 201/2

45.6 M Panesar to Clarke, Flatter on leg, worked straight to square leg. 200/2

MICHAEL CLARKE, the captain replaces Rogers at the crease. Australia only need 31 runs more.

45.5 Panesar to Rogers, OUT! Rogers' fine knock comes to an end! He was getting a bit fidgety at the crease and this time he has perished. Goes back deep to cut but gets a thin edge that is snapped up by Bairstow. Rogers departs for a breezy 116 and has firmly cemented Australia's position for a win here. 200/2

45.4 M Panesar to Rogers, Rogers has driven it straight down the ground. 200/1

45.3 M Panesar to Rogers, Short and flat on off, Rogers looks to cut but gets a bottom edge back to the bowler. 200/1

45.2 M Panesar to Rogers, Comes down the track and hits across the line but doesn't beat short mid-wicket. 200/1

45.1 M Panesar to Watson, Tossed up very full on middle, Watson pushes this to mid on and takes one. That brings up the 200 up. 200/1

Monty Panesar back on.

44.6 Ben Stokes to Rogers, Across off, Rogers defends off the back foot. End of the over. Just 32 runs needed now. 199/1

44.5 Ben Stokes to Rogers, Goes for the pull but gets a little bottom edge that dies down to the keeper. 199/1

44.4 Ben Stokes to Rogers, Another fullish yorker on middle, Rogers digs it out. 199/1

44.3 Ben Stokes to Rogers, On middle and leg, helped down to long leg for a couple. 199/1

44.2 Ben Stokes to Rogers, FOUR! Another boundary through third man! Rogers has peppered that area all day long, stays back and square drives this one too. 197/1

44.1 Ben Stokes to Rogers, Full in the block-hole outside off, driven to mid off. 193/1

Ben Stokes back on.

43.6 J Anderson to Watson, Length ball outside off, Watson defends it off his front foot. 193/1

43.5 J Anderson to Rogers, Outside off, Rogers dabs it to point for a single. 193/1

43.4 J Anderson to Rogers, Landed just outside off, Rogers defends it towards point. 192/1

43.3 J Anderson to Rogers, Good length delivery around off, Rogers defends it to the off side. 192/1

43.2 J Anderson to Rogers, Length ball on off, Rogers plays it to point for a couple. 192/1

43.1 J Anderson to Rogers, On middle, Rogers pushes it to the off side. 190/1

42.6 Tim Bresnan to Rogers, Outside off, Rogers guides it to third man for a single. 190/1

42.5 Tim Bresnan to Rogers, FOUR! Superb shot! Shortish outside off, Rogers cuts it through the point region and the ball beats the fielder again and races to the boundary rope. 189/1

42.4 Tim Bresnan to Rogers, Full outside off, Rogers drives it to covers. 185/1

42.3 Tim Bresnan to Watson, Shortish around off, Watson pulls it through the mid-wicket for a run. 185/1

42.2 Bresnan to Watson, FOUR! He won't stop now! Fuller length ball outside off, Watson smacks it straight down the ground. Bresnan tries to stop the ball but misses and goes over him for another boundary. 184/1

22nd Test fifty for Shane Watson!

42.1 Tim Bresnan to Watson, FOUR! Fifty for Shane Watson now! Shortish outside off, Watson cuts it through the point region and the ball goes the boundary fence. 180/1

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