Holders England now face the prospect of losing the series in next week's third Test at Perth's WACA Ground where they have not won a Test since 1978. "We always had the faith in the team and the belief," Australia skipper Steve Smith said. "We thought if we could come out and bowl well this morning, hit our lengths and get one or two wickets then things can happen quickly." While Root was batting England's hopes lingered of bringing off a record run chase of 345 at Adelaide Oval.
"It all happened quickly. We thought last night that we were still in the box seat. 180 runs was a lot to score. We were very confident coming into today." Steve Smith ?? Highlights, reaction and analysis here ? https://t.co/RUzKvoQNHU #Ashes #bbccricket pic.twitter.com/002VcA4MN8— Test Match Special (@bbctms) December 6, 2017
That left England lurching towards defeat on 188 for seven after 45 minutes of play on the final day. Craig Overton stayed around for 39 minutes before he fell lbw to a Starc inswinger for seven with the first delivery of the second new ball. Starc had Stuart Broad caught behind for eight and finished off the Test just before tea bowling Jonny Bairstow for 36.
"The way we went about it yesterday was exceptional and that has to be the benchmark going forward. That shows how we are still massively in this series." @root66 ?? More reaction ? https://t.co/RUzKvoQNHU #Ashes #bbccricket pic.twitter.com/JUiOqdLkza— Test Match Special (@bbctms) December 6, 2017
England entered the final day 178 runs from victory with six wickets in hand after a dramatic momentum switch on Tuesday. Australia dismissed England for 227 on Monday but decided against sending them back in to bat despite holding a 215-run first innings lead. The tourists subsequently skittled out the Australians for 138, leaving them with a chance of chasing down a record 354-run victory target in the final five sessions of play. Skipper Root led a spirited English fightback and relished the challenge of a record run chase with a fighting unbeaten half-century. The highest winning fourth innings at the Adelaide Oval remains 315 for six by Australia against England in 1902. BRIEF SCORE: Australia 8 for 442 dec (Marsh 126*, Paine 57, Khawaja 53, Overton 3-105) and 138 (Anderson 5-43) beat England 227 (Overton 41*, Lyon 4-60, Starc 3-49) and 233 (Root 67, Starc 5-88) by 120 runs
'The way we played last night, I thought we had every chance this morning. We came to the ground expecting.' @root66 ?? More reaction ? https://t.co/RUzKvoQNHU #Ashes #bbccricket pic.twitter.com/v0t3ZygZpf— Test Match Special (@bbctms) December 6, 2017