Search

The Ashes: England relying on Root to avoid big defeat

PUBLISHED: 08:09 07 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:09 07 January 2018

England's Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow walk off at stumps after day four of the Ashes Test at Sydney Cricket Ground (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

England's Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow walk off at stumps after day four of the Ashes Test at Sydney Cricket Ground (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Joe Root’s last stand was all that feasibly stood between England and 4-0 Ashes embarrassment as they diced with a landslide innings defeat at the SCG.

Australia's Mitchell Marsh Marsh celebrates his century with his brother Shaun (pic Jason O'Brien/PA) Australia's Mitchell Marsh Marsh celebrates his century with his brother Shaun (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

Shaun and Mitch Marsh completed their centuries, finishing respectively with 156 and 101 out of Australia’s monumental first-innings 649-7 on day four of the final Test.

Then Steve Smith’s mid-afternoon declaration put the onus on England to reveal a resilience which has been lacking throughout the winter and they formed no new habits on the way to 93-4, still 210 adrift, despite their captain’s unbeaten 42 from 124 balls.

In extreme conditions, city record 47-degree heat under near cloudless skies, the tourists were softened up by the Marshes, who took their fifth-wicket stand to 169.

By each passing an Ashes century in the same innings, the two sons of former Test opener Geoff were emulating deeds of two previous sets of Australian brothers – the Chappells in 1972 and the Waughs in 2001, both at The Oval.

England players take a drink during day four of the Ashes Test at Sydney Cricket Ground (pic Jason O'Brien/PA) England players take a drink during day four of the Ashes Test at Sydney Cricket Ground (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

England’s batsmen were then unsurprisingly vulnerable.

Alastair Cook became only the sixth player in history to pass 12,000 Test runs, but then succumbed to a perfectly-pitched Nathan Lyon off-break which pinned him on the back foot and turned past the outside edge to hit off stump.

Mark Stoneman was already gone by then, lbw on the defence to Mitchell Starc, and James Vince fell in all too typical fashion when he edged Pat Cummins to second slip off the back foot.

Root dug in manfully, battling on after a nasty bang on the finger from Starc.

Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates the wicket of England's Alastair Cook (pic Jason O'Brien/PA) Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates the wicket of England's Alastair Cook (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

He lost Dawid Malan lbw to a Lyon arm ball in the last hour, but Jonny Bairstow was skillful enough to help his fellow Yorkshireman at least close out the day.

The morning session was as unequal as any in this conspicuously one-sided series.

It began with Marsh the elder bagging his second century of the winter, cover-driving the fifth ball of the day off Moeen Ali for his 11th four to move from 98 to 102 off 212 deliveries.

England had to look sheepishly elsewhere during the Marsh celebrations, twice over when Mitch repeated the dose – his hundred, also a second in the series, much quicker from just 140 balls and containing 15 fours and two sixes.

Tom Curran briefly interrupted the carnival, though.

The Marshes had almost stranded themselves with a mid-pitch embrace before each hastily making their ground for the two runs which took Mitch to his century; then one ball later, he lost his off stump to one that nipped back.

Australia’s uncompromising means to an end nonetheless continued into the afternoon, as Stuart Broad was left stuck on 399 career wickets and Mason Crane’s experience perhaps encapsulated the tourists’ strife best of all as he recorded the most expensive figures by any English debutant – 48-3-193-1.

There was a symmetry too in that his unwanted record exceeded Devon Malcolm’s at Trent Bridge in 1989 – when Geoff Marsh dished out plenty of the punishment.

Here, Marsh’s eldest son eventually followed the younger back, run out by a direct hit from Stoneman at cover as he responded to a call for a single, before Starc was last out to a miscued slog at Moeen.

The declaration left England with an hour to bat before tea and almost instantly they found a different kind of trouble.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

17:31

After nearly four decades without so much as a glimpse Arsenal are now set to wear red shorts for the second time in two months at the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

17:09

Emirates and Arsenal have announced a five-year extension to their long-running shirt partnership.

16:00

The latest news from the local boxing scene

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Gunners boss has revealed he will rest his key players for next week’s second leg so they will be fresh for the Carabao Cup final on February 25

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Europa League last-32, first leg: Ostersunds 0 Arsenal 3

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Emirates club will look to get back to winning ways this evening when they play the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash in Sweden

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Bostik North club, fresh from agreeing a player development partnership deal with Arsenal in October, have confirmed another big link

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

North Middlesex youngsters combined to win a national indoor title in Birmingham at the weekend.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now