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.
— KP (@KP24) December 5, 2017
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.
In the last decade, England have been set 350+ to win 15 times. Not only have they never won, they’ve never got within 100 of the target.
— Jonathan Liew (@jonathanliew) December 5, 2017
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.
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…
🎥 @TheBarmyArmy knew how many reviews Australia had left!
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) December 5, 2017
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.
How good is the night session of day-night Test cricket! High anticipation. Always something happening or about to happen! In prime time! Well played @CricketAus and @ECB_cricket . Compelling contest. #Ashes2017
— Malcolm Conn (@malcolmconn) December 5, 2017
Jonathan Trott warns England not to get ‘too desperate’ against India spinners
The duo have taken a combined 42 wickets in the series so far.
Darren Gough fears England could be on the end of another hiding by India
Gough knows all about two-day Test wins.
Chris Silverwood hopes England batsmen can learn from quickfire third-Test loss
Silverwood would not be drawn into criticising the pitch.
England players clash online over Alex Hartley’s social media comments
Hartley advertised England Women’s one-day international with New Zealand by referencing the men’s third Test defeat inside two days to India.
Nat Sciver excels as England wrap up series win in New Zealand
Sciver claimed three for 26 and hit 63.
Joe Root invites ICC to make own judgement on Ahmedabad pitch
England were beaten by 10 wickets to go 2-1 down in the series.
It was nice to bat on – Rohit Sharma defends pitch after India seal two-day win
The hosts thrashed England by 10 wickets in Ahmedabad.
Charlotte Edwards elected as first female president of the PCA
The former England captain takes over from Graham Gooch at the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
Joe Root refuses to blame pitch for England’s quickfire defeat in Ahmedabad
It was the shortest match since 1935 in terms of balls bowled.
7 Tests with the most premature endings since 2000
A turning wicket caused chaos for batsmen on both sides as England’s first-innings collapse for 112 set the tone.