Cricket

The Ashes: Australia close in on England total

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Australia ended day two of the fourth Ashes Test in Durham with a psychological, if not numerical, advantage over England as the tourists closed in on the total of the Ashes holders.

England failed to add any runs to their overnight score of 238-9 as a wafting Jimmy Anderson was dispatched by Jackson Bird, but early inroads from the hosts suggested their total would be more than competitive.

However, Chris Rogers anchored the Australia innings on his way to a maiden Test century, and was unbeaten when bad light stopped play with his side just 16 runs behind England.

A fiery opening spell from Stuart Broad had placed England firmly in command during the morning session as he dismissed David Warner - picked to open - and Usman Khawaja, while he may also count himself unlucky not have added the wicket of Rogers to his list of scalps.

The DRS, however, saved Rogers after he was given out caught behind - while the third umpire also spared him an lbw dismissal - but there was no technological interference required when Australia captain Michael Clarke edged Broad to Alastair Cook at first slip to reduce his side to 49-3.

England could smell blood and Tim Bresnan, a perhaps controversial choice ahead of Graham Onions, had Steven Smith caught behind with the score on 76, but Rodgers found a long-term partner in former opening buddy Shane Watson.

The pair added 129 before Watson was caught down the leg-side off the bowling of Broad (4-48) having looked relatively untroubled, while Rogers took himself to three figures in the following over having been stuck on 96 for 21 deliveries.

He and Brad Haddin shared an unbeaten 18 prior to the close before the gloom prompted an end to proceedings half-an-hour ahead of the scheduled finish time.

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Topics:
The Ashes
Australia cricket
Cricket
England cricket

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