England chasing 121 to win 3rd Ashes Test

Australia have added 97 runs to their overnight score in the third Ashes Test, setting England a target of 121 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Peter Nevill started day three on 37, needing to do the bulk of the work if the tourists were to somehow make a game of it at Edgbaston.

Nevill extended his stubborn knock for a further 45 minutes, pushing Australia to a total of 7-217 before he fell for 59.

Mitchell Starc continued to fight – bringing up his half-century and pushing the visitors’ lead past 100 with a six off Moeen Ali.

Starc went down swinging for 58, Ali snaring the final wicket as Australia were bowled out for 265 late in Friday’s morning session.

The wagging tail could be interpreted as a portent of how England might struggle in the fourth Test without Jimmy Anderson and/or another damning indictment of Australia’s batsmen.

“It just shows you how badly they played in the first two days,” Shane Warne said on Sky Sports.

“They didn’t bat time and let the pitch dry out. It would have been a good Test match.”

Recalled paceman Steve Finn snared the scalp of Nevill to finish with career-best figures of 6-79 in the second dig, but his teammates failed to regularly threaten.

Nevill, given a life late on day two by counterpart Jos Buttler who dropped a leg-side catch, continued to frustrate the hosts.

The edges flew early in Nevill’s maiden Test half-century, although Stuart Broad was certain he had the breakthrough in the day’s fifth over.

Broad didn’t bother turning to appeal when Buttler snaffled a one-handed catch down the leg side.

Umpire Chris Gaffaney felt the ball came off something other than glove.

Hotspot confirmed the second-gamer should have been out, but England had wasted their two reviews on day two.

Broad pouted, much like in his previous over when an Ali misfield cost the side a boundary, but Finn struck soon after.

This time, Nevill unsuccessfully reviewed a leg-side catch from Buttler, out of optimism more than anything else.

Nevill and Starc had helped themselves to 39 runs off the first six overs of the day, Alastair Cook leaving only two slips in place after half an hour.

Part-timer Joe Root was given an over before Cook threw the ball to Ben Stokes.

Flame-haired allrounder Stokes recorded a wicket maiden in his first over on Friday, with Root grabbing a remarkable catch at third slip to dismiss Josh Hazlewood for 11.

Nathan Lyon would have been out in the same over if Cook had a review left, with a confident lbw shout turned down by Aleem Dar.

Lyon finished 12 not out, meaning the bottom five in the order contributed almost 60 per cent of the runs in the second dig.

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