Aus three wickets away from losing Ashes

Australia have all but surrendered the Ashes, with Michael Clarke’s men on the cusp of an embarrassing innings defeat in the fourth Test.

Australia were 7-241 at stumps on day two at Trent Bridge, England boasting a lead of 90 runs.

Bad light ended play after Ben Stokes grabbed a haul of 5-35, but the hosts will take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series on Saturday.

Australia at least avoided their first two-day Test loss since 1890, although Clarke is unlikely to take much solace in that.

There looked to be only one result possible in the game after the tourists were skittled for 60 in 18.3 overs, the fastest first innings in Test history.

Australia showed a bit more ticker after their day-one debacle.

Mitchell Starc bowled an impressive 10-over spell on Friday morning, snagging career-best figures of 6-111.

David Warner and Chris Rogers put on a 113-run stand after Alastair Cook’s pre-lunch declaration at 9-391, chipping away at a first-innings lead of 331 runs.

The futile fightback unravelled spectacularly in 21 minutes of madness that preceded tea.

Stokes dismissed both openers and Shaun Marsh in the space of 13 balls, while Steve Smith also fell for five in a collapse of 4-23.

“I just wanted to see a bit more fight,” Shane Warne said on Sky Sports.

Clarke managed a score of 13, reducing his series average to 16.71.

Only one other Australia captain has produced a lower average in an Ashes since 1965.

In Clarke’s past 30 Test innings, he has reached 25 just six times and scored two hundreds.

Chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning”, usually reserved for football mangers in England, sound out throughout the captain’s 37-ball stay at the crease.

Clarke actually looked composed, relative to the rash stroke that brought about his downfall on Thursday.

But Mark Wood removed him in the 12th over after tea, Cook juggling a catch at first slip before Ian Bell snapped up the rebound.

Adam Voges’ unbeaten 48 pushed the game to a third day, although Australia benefited from plenty of luck on Friday.

Stuart Broad, who sent down an unprecedented spell of 8-15 a day earlier, should have dismissed Warner in his third over after lunch.

Cook moved well and got two hands to the edge, but it somehow popped out when the opener was on 10.

Warner was given another life on 42, Bell grassing a low catch in front of Cook.

Rogers and Peter Nevill were both recalled after no-balls.

Joe Root kicked the turf in frustration after his diving catch to dismiss Rogers proved pointless.

Rogers was on his way the following over, Root claiming another sharp catch to start the rot.

Nevill was more productive.

The keeper added 15 runs before shouldering arms to a delivery from Stokes that zipped off the pitch and trapped him lbw.

Nevill optimistically and unsuccessfully reviewed.

Cook claimed another catch to dismiss Mitchell Johnson, but the match had long stopped being a genuine contest.


*1st Test, Cardiff: 5-25, 6-50

*3rd Test, Edgbaston: 5-60, 4-30

*4th Test, Trent Bridge: 7-29, 4-23

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