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from Left field:

Ashes analysis: Any result is possible after more great cricket

It takes guts, skill, determination and more than anything patience to win a test match and that is why the longest form of cricket is still one of the greatest challenges that a sportsman can face.

And England will need all the patience that human nature can muster if they are to wear down and eventually beat this resolute Australian side, which managed to recover from 128 for five to close on 313 with the loss of no further wickets, chasing another 209 runs for victory.

Bad light again saw a truncated day’s play as the magnificent Michael Clarke and the unyielding Brad Haddin put on a superb partnership for the sixth wicket, sending strains of anxiety coursing through the England camp.

The premature finish to the day will have benefited England more than Australia, who were looking more than comfortable and almost rapacious with their scoring, despite England taking the second new ball, in bowler friendly conditions, just before the close.