England on the brink, Aussies dispair


England are on the brink of regaining the Ashes urn after reducing Australia to 241 for seven at Trent Bridge, still 90 runs from making the home team bat again in the second innings.

After bowling the visitors out for 60 before lunch on day one, England resumed day two on 274 for four with Joe Root unbeaten on 124.

Root though did not go on and get the very big score that he would have liked as he fell to paceman Mitchell Starc for a majestic 130.

Not long after, nightwatchman Mark Wood, who frustrated the Australia as he hung around for 28, was also out Starc bowled him to claim a five-wicket haul. It was the only positive so far in the match for Australia.

Jos Buttler (12) and Ben Stokes (5) never offered much with the bat but Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad put on 58 for the ninth wicket to propel the hosts to much than 350 and close to 400.

Mitchell Johnson got Moeen for 38 while Broad was unbeaten on 24, and batting with Steven Finn, when his captain Alastair Cook decided to declare 20 minutes before lunch on 391 for nine, with a lead of 331. Starc took six wickets in the innings.

Australia's second innings started a lot better than the first as openers Chris Rogers (52) and David Warner (64) both hit half centuries and put on 113 before Stokes removed both of them.

The first innings demons then appeared again as Steve Smith (5), Shaun Marsh (2) and Michael Clarke (13) all fell cheaply, and caught behind, as the Aussies collapsed to 174 for five.

Adam Voges battled to be 48 not out as he lost both Peter Nevill and Johnson near the close of play. Stokes had figures of five for 35 when the players came off for bad light.