Targeting a win, England set a winning target of 399 against Australia in the fifth Ashes Test on Sunday at Oval.
Chasing the winning target, Australia is struggling with 116 for 4. Losing the wicket of Steve Smith for 23 came out as a big body blow for Australia in the chase.
Joe Denly’s 94 and Ben Stokes 67 helped England to put up a total of 329 in the second innings and thus set up a huge winning target of 399 before Australia.
World Cup winners England are desperate to tie the series at 2-2 even though Australia have already retained the Ashes urn. The tourists are equally hungry to wrap up their first series win in England since 2001 after edging ahead by winning last week's fourth Test at Old Trafford.
In the second innings, Australia got off to a poor start as Stuart Broad dismissed both Marcus Harris and David Warner cheaply. Harris was the first one to depart as Broad sent his off-stump rolling in the air when he was on 9. Warner got into the double-digits for the second time in this series but couldn't capitalise on the start and got out on 11 by edging one straight to the third slip. Warner became Broad's victim for the seventh time in the series. The biggest wicket for the visitors was the departure of Marnus Labuschagne, their most consistent batsman after Smith, as he failed to recover his crease in time and wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow clipped the bails in a flash, handing Australia a huge blow. At lunch Australia were 68/3, 331 runs behind the target. Smith was unbeaten on 18 and Matthew Wade was batting on 10. Earlier, Australia bowlers bowled England out for 329 runs in their second innings.