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.

Latest Ilford Stories

25 minutes ago

Peter Taylor will be praying Dagenham & Redbridge’s trip to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup on Saturday is a welcome break from Vanarama National League action after admitting his team’s start to the season has left him embarrassed.

FA Youth Cup third qualifying round: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Leyton Orient 3

The latest results from two of our local Essex Senior League clubs

10:00

Essex Senior League: Sporting Bengal United 5 Redbridge 1

08:00

New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina is excited about playing a match in London as it will give his family and friends a chance to watch him play.

10:44

Hundreds of friends and family paid their respects after a 23-year-old father-to-be was brutally murdered on his birthday in Hainault.

10:09

Four family members have been charged with modern slavery offences following dawn raids across east London.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now