Ashes 2023: Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne out at end of day 4 as England take three Australian wickets
Australia require another 174 runs to win the first LV= Insurance Men's Ashes test at Edgbaston
The first LV= Insurance Men's Ashes Test is going to the wire after a pulsating day at Edgbaston. In the chase of 281, Australia are 107-3 after David Warner, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne all departed. Stuart Broad took two wickets and Ollie Robinson had the other.
England came out this morning all guns blazing, keen to push on from a disappointing end to day three. Joe Root attempted a reverse ramp with the very first ball of the day- he missed this one but later attempts would be dispatched for a four and a six.
Root and Ollie Pope were looking good and it took a beautiful in-swinging yorker from Cummins to break them up. Harry Brook was intent on joining in with the fun and both he and Root raced to 46 before holing out.
Bairstow and his captain Ben Stokes were looking good to reach a much needed 50 partnership until Bairstow was trapped LBW by Nathan Lyon. At this point in the day, England’s lead had passed 200 and with batting still to come the aim would have been something up towards 300.
When Pat Cummins trapped Stokes LBW for 43 shortly before 3pm, it felt as though the tide had moved firmly in favour of Australia. The wicket of Moeen Ali left England just 235 runs ahead and only Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad and James Anderson left to bat.
England set about chipping away at the Australian’s in an effort to make sure they set a defendable target on what was a flat, lifeless pitch. Robinson enjoyed a dramatic flurry of runs but he was England’s ninth wicket when he fell to Nathan Lyon. If anyone thought Anderson would dig in, they were mistaken very quickly. The veteran quick smashed a four from his first ball.
The Edgbaston faithful cheered every run scored by Broad and Anderson. A pair who have taken over 1100 wickets for their country, they aren’t known for their run scoring. A stubborn 15 run partnership for the last wicket moved England towards a lead of 280 and when Anderson edged behind for 12, Australia knew their target to win the first Ashes test was 281.