An Alastair Cook century has got England to put up a daring fight which has taken the third Ashes Test to the final day. But the writing is on the wall that the Ashes will be surrendered to the Aussies 0-3 with two more tests left in the series. England have put up a spirited show with the bat in the fourth day’s play but had lost two wickets towards the end which has made it difficult for them to save the test match on Day 5. It’s now upto the super heroes of the English team – Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff to pull off something spectacular on the final day.
Coming into the third day’s play at 19 for 1, the visitors were expected to lose a few early wickets but that just didn’t happen. A marvelous partnership between two youngsters – Cook and Bell had defied the Australians for more than 50 overs. Bell was the first breakthrough for the homeside. The right hander lasted for 163 balls scoring 87 with 8 fours and 2 sixes. It was a superb stand of 170 with Cook with Bell joining him in just the fifth ball of the innings.
Paul Collingwood who has had a good time with his batting in this series failed for the second time in this series as he once again fell to Stuart Clark. Alastair Cook had got to his maiden Ashes ton but he couldn’t kick on from the hundred as he nicked the second new ball to Langer off Glenn McGrath. Cook scored 116 having faced 290 balls which had 10 fours. England’s stubborn nightwatchman, Matthew Hoggard could last just the two balls as he was cleaned up McGrath in the same over he had dismissed Cook. Pietersen on 37 and Flintoff on 2 saw the remaining part of the play without any further damage. England have ended up at 265 for 5 and they just have these two batsmen who are capable of doing anything significant on the final day. But the problem is that both these batsmen are attacking in nature and may not possess the surviving skills which is what their side need to save the Ashes surrender.