Australia poised for innings win

THE HANS INDIA |   Jan 07,2018 , 11:23 PM IST

Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates after scalping the wicket of England's Alastair Cook (not in pic) on the fourth day of the fifth Ashes Test at Sydney on Sunday
Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates after scalping the wicket of England's Alastair Cook (not in pic) on the fourth day of the fifth Ashes Test at Sydney on Sunday

Sydney: Australia were closing on an innings victory with England fighting a desperate rearguard on 93 for four at stumps on the fourth day of the fifth Ashes Test on Sunday, still 210 runs from forcing their hosts to bat again.

Brothers Shaun and Mitchell Marsh had earlier both scored centuries on a scorching morning at the Sydney Cricket Ground to put Australia in a position where they could declare on 649-7 in the second session.

England, already 0-3 down in the series with the urn relinquished, had toiled in the field in temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius with little success and their luck did not change when they came out to bat.

Openers Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman went cheaply inside the first six overs of their second innings with James Vince (18) and Dawid Malan (five) following in the final session.

Skipper Joe Root, who made an unbeaten 42 despite playing with an injured finger, and Jonny Bairstow (17 not out) will take England's fight to save the Test into the final day.

The Marsh brothers had earlier joined the Chappell siblings Ian and Greg (1972) and the Waugh twins Mark and Steve (2001) in scoring centuries in the same innings in an Ashes Test.

Shaun Marsh made 156 from 291 balls before being run out by a Stoneman direct hit just after lunch, with Mitchell having departed for 101 on the delivery after securing his second century when Tom Curran took out his off stump.

The brothers both scored their second centuries of the series in a brilliant 169-run partnership that built on the mammoth 171 Usman Khawaja scored on Saturday.

It would have been a particularly sweet partnership given Shaun was a controversial selection for the series, his eighth recall to the Test line-up being met with disbelief in some quarters, and Mitchell brought in for the third Test in Perth.

Mitchell was the second to reach the milestone about an hour into the morning with two runs past point and Shaun was in such a hurry to congratulate his little brother that he almost ran him out.