Birmingham - Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc both showed up Australia's top-order
batsmen with defiant fifties as England were left with a target of 121
to win the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston on Friday.
Nevill (59) and fast bowler Starc (58) combined well in an eighth-wicket
stand of 64 during Australia's second innings 265 all out on Friday's
They also managed to do something that eluded five
members of Australia's top six in the innings by reaching double
figures, with left-handed opener David Warner's 77 the only major
contribution by a specialist batsman.
England fast bowler Steven
Finn, recalled for his first Test in two years following an injury to
Mark Wood, led the attack with his best figures at this level of six for
Finn's return surpassed his previous Test best of six for 125 against Australia at Brisbane in 2010.
the two overs of their reply that were possible before lunch, England
moved on to four without loss -- all their runs scored by captain
England suffered a setback before play started when
James Anderson, their all-time most successful Test bowler, was ruled
out of the remainder of this match and next week's fourth Test at Trent
Bridge with a side strain.
Anderson, whose Ashes-best six for 47
in Australia's meagre first innings 136 extended his record England haul
to 413 Test wickets, suffered the injury while bowling on Thursday.
Australia resumed on their overnight 168 for seven, with Nevill 37 not out and Starc seven not out.
leg-glanced boundary off Finn saw him to a maiden Test fifty, in only
his second match, at this level in 126 balls with six fours.
survived one appeal for a catch down the legside on 53 by opposing
wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, Nevill eventually fell in similar fashion
when the diving England gloveman held a stunning one-handed chance, high
to his left, off Finn.
Nevill, understandably, reviewed umpire Aleem Dar's decision but replays confirmed a thin inside edge.
however, continued to strike the ball well and his straight six off
spinner Moeen Ali saw the left-hander to an 83-ball fifty, including six
It also gave Australia a lead of 100 but they then lost
their ninth wicket when Josh Hazlewood (11) was superbly caught by
leaping third slip Joe Root off Ben Stokes's second ball Friday.
Ali ended the innings when he had Starc caught in the covers by substitute Josh Poysden.