Root, Brook help England extend lead to 162

After lunch on Day 4, England raced to 155 for 5, extending their lead to 162 runs. Joe Root and Harry Brook’s powerful 40s were helpful.

In the first seven balls of the game, Root used three reverse scoops, showing the home team’s early tenacity. Despite three slip fielders and a wicket keeper standing up, he hit a six and a boundary off all three of his subsequent two attempts after missing his first attempt. England’s strategy for the day was driven by Scott Boland’s 16-run over. 

Australia took the lead as Pat Cummins’ inswinging yorker on pitch number 14 struck out Ollie Pope. Pope’s important priority was avoiding the strike, but Root was scoring at a rate nearly to one ball a run. He provided Boland drives and cuts in sprinting.

As Harry Brook began, Root moved into a supporting role after taking some time to get used to. Brook took two quick deliveries with Nathan Lyon, which he intelligently used to get the offspinner into his assault. Shortly after the drink break, Root, who had momentarily slowed lower, elected to attack the offside. After stepping out to the spinner and missing a huge smash, Root was out for 46 runs.

As the ball was still in movement, England considerably slowed down once Root was substituted. After being locked up for some time, Brook finally faltered in her move to flee. He hit Lyon straight to the fielder on mid wicket, missed the mark by four runs. Due to the ball’s inclination to stray, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow frequently came in, but they were able to hold on. Bairstow’s leg-before-wicket was actually called in the last over before lunch, but the call changed after a review.

Brief Scores

England 393/8 decl. (Joe Root 112*, Jonny Bairstow 78, Zak Crawley 61; Nathan Lyon 4-149, Josh Hazlewood 2-61) & 155/5 (Joe Root 46, Harry Brook 46; Pat Cummins 2-33, Nathan Lyon 2-34) lead Australia 386 (Usman Khawaja 141, Alex Carey 66, Travis Head 50; Ollie Robinson 3-55, Stuart Broad 3-68) by 162 runs

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