Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Can England take a 2-0 Ashes lead?

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CRICKET-ASHES/A stunning day’s Test cricket, wasn’t it? If there was ever any doubt over the status of the longest form of the game then Sunday’s play will have washed away concerns.

You simply don’t get this sort of story told, with its twists and turns, at a Twenty20 match or a 50-over game for that matter. It had everything; wickets, runs, hostility, sledging and a dramatic finale that leaves a positive result to this rain interrupted Test match still possible.

Australia closed day four on 88 for 2 in their second innings, still 25 runs behind England’s first innings total of 376, and they will attempt to bat out the final day in order to save this match.

The draw is still favourite, but England have given themselves a whiff of an opportunity, by way of their aggressive batting and attacking bowling. Led by the bruise brothers Andrew Flintoff and Matt Prior, who smashed 89 off almost as many balls, England clawed their way back from the precipice of 168 for five to post a 113 run first innings lead over the Australians.

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