4th Ashes Test Review (MCG)
The fourth test was a chance for England to play for pride and to lift their morale, while for the Aussies it was a chance to go to a four-nil lead in the series and push towards a five-nil series clean sweep. Despite having already lost the series England will gain some positives out of the fourth test.
Batting first was a good result for Australia. A brilliant innings from danger man Warner set the tone for the Aussies and would prove to be a catalyst for them posting a good score. Despite him scoring fairly quickly, Bancroft and Khawaja batted slowly. If not for the contributions from Smith and Warner England would have controlled the balance of play. Warner laid the foundations for Australia and Smith helped continue the momentum that Warner built.
Day two of the test was dominated by England; they managed to take the last seven Australian wickets for sixty-seven runs. England managed to get the momentum back in their favour with some good bowling. All four front line English bowlers took at least one wicket. England lost two wickets having scored eighty runs putting the control of the ascendancy in the balance. Unfortunately for Australia Root and Cook formed a solid unbeaten partnership; at stumps the partnership was one hundred and twelve runs. If only England had put up the fight and endeavour on the second day of the fourth test, in the first three test of the Ashes Series. At least they showed that they are up for the fight and that they won’t throw in the towel.
It was vintage Cook on day three. Cook led from the front, turning back the clock. Hopefully this innings will silence his critics. He finished the day at two hundred and forty-four runs not out. He was well supported by Root, Woakes and Broad. Cook put on one hundred runs for the ninth wicket with tail ender Broad. England ended the day one hundred and sixty-four runs ahead of the Aussies with one wicket in hand.
The fourth day was marred by rain. England acquired a lead of one hundred and sixty-four runs. In Australia’s second innings, Warner and Bancroft formed a respectable partnership of fifty-one. Australia lost two quick wickets leaving them two for sixty-five. Smith and Warner played well to form an unbeaten thirty-eight run partnership, leaving Australia sixty-one runs behind.
Australia were in a bit of strife with the score four for one hundred and seventy eight runs, meaning they led the English by a poultry fourteen runs, with only six second innings wickets in hand. Mitch Marsh and Smith played cautiously, clearly aiming to salvage a draw for the Aussies. The Aussie run rate was just over two runs per over, meaning they were in survival mode. Inevitably, almost an anti-climax the game ended up being a draw.