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  5. Ashes 2023: David Warner, Usman Khawaja lead Australia's charge towards series win, England in hole

Ashes 2023: David Warner, Usman Khawaja lead Australia's charge towards series win, England in hole

Ashes 2023: Australia dominated Day 4 of the fifth Ashes Test as they cut the 384-run target. The Aussies need 249 runs more to win and have all the ten wickets in hand.

Written By: Varun Malik New Delhi Updated on: July 31, 2023 12:27 IST
David Warner and Usman Khawaja stitched an unbeaten 135-run
Image Source : GETTY David Warner and Usman Khawaja stitched an unbeaten 135-run partnership

 

Ashes 2023: The fourth day of the fifth Ashes Test was interrupted by rain but it was enough for the Aussie openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja to keep their team's chances of a series win alive. The day marked an emotional start with England's unbeaten pair Stuart Broad and James Anderson walking out to bat in the former's last Test match. Broad received a guard of honour from the Australian fielders as the crowd cheered for their star pacer. 

The 37-year-old Broad sent the spectators in awe with his six off Mitchell Starc but the English side added only six runs to their 389-run total at the end of Day 3. It was then the Aussies turn to go behind a mammoth 384 and the openers provided them with possibly the best platform to clinch a series. The duo remained unbeaten as Australia walked back 135/0 when the rain came down in the second session of Day 4. The play was not possible thereafter and the Aussies need 249 runs with England still ten wickets behind and under pressure now.

Warner, Khawaja's century stand

It was the first century stand in Ashes since David Warner and Cameron Bancroft's 122-run stand in the Melbourne Test in 2017/18. Warner, who is facing criticism for his place in the team, negated the new ball threat from his nemesis Stuart Broad. There was not much in it for the bowlers and the English bowlers also looked flat. Warner got to his second fifty of the series while Khawaja also raced away to 69. 

Stuart Broad created a chance early on in Australia's chase but the ball didn't carry to Ben Duckett at third slip. He was not able to trouble the batters much and Moeen Ali was also unable to keep the Aussies under check. Moeen, who suffered a groin injury, bowled loose deliveries to not let the pressure build on the visitors. There was another point of debate when Mark Wood was not introduced into the attack as long as the 33rd over. His pace troubled the batters but could not convert the efforts into rewards.

Aussies still have a long task ahead of them and if they have to win the match, they need to chase down their second highest successful chase in Test cricket's history. Pat Cummins' side needs 249 to win the match and clinch the series on English soil for the first time since 2001.

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