Australia closes in on regaining Ashes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia closes in on regaining Ashes

17/12/2006 05:53:05 AM Comments (0)

Australia could regain the Ashes from England as early as Sunday if it claims nine more wickets to win the third Test at the WACA Ground.

England will resume at 1-19 in its second innings, needing 536 more runs to win or needing to bat out two days to save the match and keep the series alive.

However after dominating day three with the bat, Australia would be favoured to bowl England out on day four to grab an insurmountable 3-0 series lead.

The home side is hoping England will still be feeling the effects of Saturday's batting blitz, when Mike Hussey, Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist all scored centuries.

Gilchrist scored his century in 57 balls, and fell one delivery short of equalling Viv Richards' 20-year-old record for the fastest century in Test cricket.

Talk of regaining the Ashes was banned by Australia in the lead-up to the match, and Gilchrist said the side was still yet to think about reclaiming cricket's greatest trophy.

"We've got nine wickets to get in this game, so we're in a good position and it's very exciting," he said.

"We've fought hard and we've endured what England has thrown up to us so it feels pretty good, but it certainly hasn't been spoken about." England's 15-month hold of the Ashes is quickly slipping, but coach Duncan Fletcher said the tourists' batsmen had to bounce back.

"It's a very, very difficult challenge but the guys have just got to come here and show what they're worth," he said.

More hot conditions are forecast for Sunday.

Plays starts at 11.30am (local time).

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