England close in on Ashes triumph
England are in pole position to win the Ashes series after an impressive fourth day’s play in the final test.
The visitors finished their first innings on a huge 644 before reducing their hosts to 213-7 by the end of the day, meaning that the Aussies need 151 more runs to avoid an innings defeat.
England resumed the day on 167-3 and built up an imposing total, with Alastair Cook (189), Ian Bell (115) and Matt Prior (118) all scoring highly. Prior’s score was quick fire, coming in just 130 balls before he was caught off the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus. The Australian reply began reasonably steadily, reaching 117-2 and then 161-4, before the loss of three wickets in quick succession saw them finish on 213-7.
England have already retained the Ashes but a win in the final test would secure an outright 3-1 series victory and round off an impressive test campaign down under.