Australia five wickets from the Ashes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia five wickets from the Ashes

18/12/2006 05:41:36 AM Comments (0)

Australia is five wickets away from regaining the Ashes on the final day of the third Test at the WACA ground.

England fought back strongly on the fourth day after being set the mammoth task of scoring 557 runs to win or batting for more than two days to save the game.

Opener Alastair Cook defied the Australian bowlers for six and a half hours before he was out for 116 just before stumps on Sunday night.

The 21-year-old was determined to bat throughout the day and give England some hope of salvaging a draw.

But Glenn McGrath had him caught behind and then clean-bowled nightwatchman Matthew Hoggard two balls later to bring his team to the brink of victory.

Kevin Pietersen (37) and Andrew Flintoff (2) resume on Monday with the possibility of morning storms giving England its best hope of keeping the series alive going into the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

An Australian victory will bring back the Ashes in just over 15 months, the shortest time any team has held them in the 124-year history of the contest.

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