Ashes: Root keeps England alive in record chase
England’s batsmen showed some much-needed fight on day three of the third Test, but Australia still look set to retain the Ashes at Headingley.
Set 359 – an England record – to win, the home side battled to 156-3 thanks to 75 not out from Joe Root and Joe Denly’s 50.
They repelled the constant threat of the Australia attack with bravery, solid defence and patience – all of the things England were missing when they were bowled out for 67 on Friday.
Root and Denly’s partnership of 126 dragged England from 15-2, when they were in danger of subsiding once more on a glorious day in Leeds.
Australia earlier moved their overnight 171-6 to 246 all out, with Marnus Labuschagne run out for 80.
The tourists’ bowling was excellent, yet largely unrewarded and, even though England are in a position from where they could pull off an incredible victory, history is on Australia’s side.
However, Headingley is the ground where Australia once successfully pursued 404 and, only two years ago, West Indies knocked off 322.
If England were to pull off the chase and level the series, it would rank alongside Sir Ian Botham’s heroics here in 1981 as one of their greatest Ashes wins. (BBC Sport)