An Ashes five-fer: Day 4, Adelaide


1) PAINE ENDS THE KEEPING DEBATE: All the talk of Jonny Bairstow’s form (of greeting) off the pitch ensured that Paine could go about his work without too much of the spotlight.

After a gutsy and counter-attacking 50 when Australia were under pressure earlyon the second day, his keeping really grew in confidence.
Lyon and Paine may sound like a funeral firm but it’s a combo that could reap many rewards in the near future.

2) THE DEATH OF THE DADDY 50: Never mind the Daddy hundred, England’s batsmen are struggling to make scores above their likely sporting retirement age.

With a target of 354 to chase, it was imperative that at least two batsmen scored big 50s to give them a sniff. Skipper Joe Root finally found an extra gear today but has plenty to do to get his team over the line.

Malan did the hard work and got out as did Mark Stoneman. Only a fighting skipper is hinting permanency at the crease.

3) JIMMY FINALLY GETS A FIVE-FER: Like Alastair Cook, bar 2010, Jimmy Anderson seems to have the reputation of a great player who can’t do it in the land of Oz.

Adelaide finally witnessed the English style skills that have made Virat Kohli and company flounder back in the old country.

Today was the first time Anderson has taken five wickets in an innings down under. It was great but alarming at the same time.

James Anderson pink ball fifer

4) SMITH HAS A BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE Ever since he was given a “warm” welcome by Anderson and Stuart Broad on Saturday, Steve Smith has looked agitated.

He scored a scratchy 40, got pinned for single figures yesterday, failed to enforce a follow-on under the lights and topped it all today with a dropped catch at slip and two wasted reviews which the Barmy Army were quick to remind him of.

Smith might have tested the language barrier on the stump microphones at times…

5) CUMMINS COMES TO LIFE IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT: When England were busy cutting the deficit as stumps approached, Pat Cummins bowled an over that summed up
the difference between the sides.

The paceman found a superb line to Root who fended one off his chest for a single. A change of angle later, an embattled Malan propped forward and was beaten by pace from a cherry that was 60 overs old.

Cummins then followed this up with a yorker and an inswinger which Chris Woakes just kept out. It was brilliant Test cricket under the lights.

By Tim Ellis