ASHES: Australia on course for crushing win

SUMMARY: Australia 328 (Smith 141*, Marsh 51) and 114-0 (Warner 60*, Bancroft 51*) trail England 302 and 195 (Root 51, Bairstow 42) by 56 runs.

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England are on the verge of losing the first Ashes Test after Australia dominated the fourth day in Brisbane. Needing 170 to win, the home side require only 56 more on Monday, reaching the close on 114-0, with David Warner 60 not out and Cameron Bancroft unbeaten on 51.

Such a modest target was the result of the good work of their bowlers, who dismissed England for 195. The tourists had opportunities to set Australia a more challenging chase, but Joe Root (51), Jonny Bairstow (42) and Moeen Ali (40) failed to make telling contributions following good starts. 

After Moeen was controversially stumped off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, England’s tail was blown away by vicious fast bowling from Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. 

Then, any hope that the visitors could make Australia uncomfortable was withdrawn by Warner and Bancroft, who blunted the new ball and punished the bowling later in their innings to raise the chances of a four-day finish. 

They ran out of time, but on Monday Australia will go 1-0 up in their quest to regain the Ashes and preserve an unbeaten record at the Gabba that stretches back to 1988. (BBC Sport)

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